Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
one whit diminished by the fact that He enjoyed the co-operation of the angels. When we contemplate the fact that of insect, reptile, fowl, beast, cattle, there are according to the estimates of moderate scientists 3,000,000 species, not to mention the many others that have served their purpose and have passed away, some of them leaving traces of themselves in petrified forms and in fossils, we are again brought face to face with the stupendousness of the creative work, as well as the skill and executive capacities of the Logos, while the fact that God planned and provided for all of them enhances Him before our appreciative and adoring hearts and minds. Praised be the Lord!
In every one of the members of these 3,000,000 species are hidden marvels of creative and executive invention. Think of it: from earth's elements bodies of exquisite and elaborate texture were formed and united with life principle and were given conscious existence and powers of locomotion and self-preservation. The millions of varieties of plant, vegetable and tree life are other spheres of wondrous creative effects. And when we consider man, the monarch of earth, with his wonderful body of hundreds of coalescent bones, thousands of nerves, sinews and capillaries, numerous veins and arteries, many vital organs and functions, all so remarkably adjusted for his well being, with the vitalizing blood adapted to receive the life force from the air and through its circulation to impart power to function to every part of the body, we stand aghast at the Logos' creative skill and executiveness. Consider but a moment the great marvels of the eye with its wonderful adaptabilities and reactions to varying light! Note the great diversity of these in beings living under different light conditions, e.g., in water, in clear light, in dark caverns, etc. More wonderfully is this the case when we attentively view man's mental, moral and religious constitution and realize that this was also given him by the Logos'
uniting an organism that He created out of about 25 elements of the earth with the life principle, so as to empower men to use this mental, moral and religious equipment either for better or for worse—the better so wonderfully appreciative, the worse so abominably abhorrent. Thus in a mere summary we have set forth the Logos' creative work in the spirit world and in the world of matter, animate and inanimate. Details on the creation of the universe and particularly on the earth we give further on. Here we are merely emphasizing the Logos' activities in God's works of creation.
For completeness of treatment of the pre-human Logos we desire to discuss briefly His works of providence; for through Him God also exercises His providence; over the universe, the earth, mankind in general and over God's people in particular. Therefore the Logos was active providentially toward these. When God says that all things were made for the Logos (Col. 1: 16), the thought is that they were made for His care to be exercised over them. Again, when He says (Col. 1: 17) that through the Logos all things consist, continue to subsist, He again teaches the Logos to be God's providential agent. He exercised this providence by preserving the universe that He brought into existence and by governing it for its accomplishing of its ends. This implies that He constantly manipulated the laws of nature for the continuance, preservation and direction of the universe. Hence the perfect precision in the harmonious movements and relations of the planets and their suns, each system in its own relations and all of them in their relations to one another. Through the great science of astronomy we have learned to spell out a few of these marvels, which declare God's glory and that of the Logos (Ps. 8: 1, 3; 19: 1-6). By the controllership of these laws of nature He also preserves, continues and rules the earth in its succession of day and night, seasons and years, for its own refreshment and for the preservation and comfort
of its inhabitants (Job 37: 6-24; 38: 25-27, 41; Ps. 65: 9-13; 104: 10-29; 135: 7; 147: 8, 9; Acts 14: 17). His providence has likewise extended toward the inhabitants of the earth— both man and beast—continuing, preserving and overruling for their ultimate good, even amid the conditions of the curse and an experience with evil, so that in the end man will benefit from his various untoward experiences in this sin-cursed earth (2 Sam. 7: 8, 9; Job 12: 23; Ps. 78: 52-55; 145: 15, 16; Acts 17: 25-31). But His providential acts as the Logos were especially exercised toward the Old Testament faithful people of God. This we can see in the experiences of every one of them described in Holy Writ. Yea, He was the Angel of the Lord that encamped about those that feared the Lord and delivered them from all their troubles and enemies (Ps. 34: 7). The teachings and histories of the Old Testament are replete with such providential acts of the Logos, of which we will cite a few: Gen. 7: 1; 19; 20: 3-6; 28: 20, 21; 48: 15, 16; Deut. 2: 7; Ps. 103: 3-5; 105: 17-22; Ex. 14: 21; 34: 24; 1 Kings 19: 1-8; Esther 3: 1-10: 3. Thus we see His pre-human providential work toward the universe, the earth, animals and man and God's Old Testament people.
There was still a third activity of the pre-human Logos: He acted as the main channel of revealing God's ways and purposes during the time the Old Testament was given. Thus He was the special confirmer of the covenant that promised a seed to Abraham (Gen. 17: 1-22; 18: 1-15). He also gave the Oath-bound Covenant to Abraham and his seed (Gen. 22: 11-18; Gal. 3: 16, 29). He appeared to Jacob on various occasions with revelations (Gen. 28: 11-22; 32: 24-30; 48: 16). He appeared to Moses, commissioning him to go to Egypt and deliver Israel (Ex. 3: 2-4: 17). He is the one through whom God spoke to Moses from between the cherubim (Ex. 14: 19; 23: 20, 23; Num. 7: 89). And Judges 13: 3-21;
2 Kings 1: 3, 15; Is. 63: 9 and 1 Pet. 1: 11 are other passages that show that He was the chief messenger making Old Testament revelations. But He was assisted in these activities by other angels, as we see in the example of the giving of all the features of the Law Covenant (Acts 7: 53; Gal. 3: 19). Another notable instance of an angel helping Him in this activity is that of Gabriel who gave a number of revelations to Daniel (Dan. 9: 20-27; 10: 4; 12: 13). The most important of such revelations; as the above citations show, came through the pre-human Logos. Hence the bulk of the Old Testament revelations were given by God through Him. Apparently other angels assisted Him only when more pressing matters required His attention elsewhere, as can be noted from the case of his manipulating the king of Persia (Dan. 10: 13, 21) to give Gabriel the opportunity to communicate with Daniel. It will be noted that Gabriel was also from obvious reasons used to communicate with Zechariah, Mary and Joseph in connection with the Logos' carnation (Luke 1: 19, 26; 2: 10; Matt. 1: 20; 2: 13, 19, 22). With this remark we close our discussion of the pre-human Logos.
Having discussed the Logos—our pre-human Lord Jesus Christ—as the first creation of God, and as the Agent through whom God made all the rest of creation, we now come in the discussion of our subject to that part of creation that consists of the other created inhabitants of the spirit world, whom we usually call angels. The Hebrew word for angel—maloch and the Greek word for angel—aggelos (pronounced angelos), from which our English word angel is derived—each means messenger, regardless of whether a spirit or human or inanimate messenger is meant. As none dispute that these words stand for spirit beings, who are God's messengers, we will quote no passages to prove it; but we will quote several to show that human messengers are sometimes meant by
these Hebrew and Greek words. Jacob's messengers to Esau are called malochim, in Gen. 32: 3, 6. Various of Moses' and Balak's messengers are called malochim, in Num. 20: 14; 21: 21; 22: 5; 24: 12. So the messengers that Joshua sent to Jericho, etc., are called malochim, in Josh. 6: 17, 25; 7: 22. Gideon's messengers are called malochim, in Judges 6: 35; 7: 24, as also are those of Jephthah and Israel, in Judges 11: 12-14, 17, 19. These citations will be sufficient to show that the Hebrew word for angels means messengers and applies to human as well as to spirit beings. A few instances of the Greek word aggelos as applicable to human messengers will be given. John the Baptist is called an aggelos, in Matt. 11: 10; Mark 1: 2; Luke 7: 27. So, too, are the two disciples whom he sent on an errand to Jesus (Luke 7: 24), and the spies sent to Rahab (Jas. 2: 25), while St. Paul's thorn in the flesh—an inanimate thing—is called a messenger of Satan, an aggelos of Satan, and a king's anger—an inanimate thing—is called messengers— malochim—of death, in Prov. 16: 14.
The Hebrew word maloch—angel—is frequently applied to the pre-human Logos, because He was a messenger, yea, the Chief Messenger (Dan. 10: 13; Jude 9; 1 Thes. 4: 16) of God. Thus He is called The Angel of God (Ex. 14: 19; Judges 13: 6-11). So, too, He is sometimes called The Angel (Gen. 48: 16) and The Angel of His Presence (Is. 63: 9). Most frequently as the Angel He is called The Angel of the Lord (Gen. 16: 7-11; 22: 11, 15, Num. 22: 23-35; Judges 6: 11-22; 13: 3-21; 2 Sam. 24: 16; 1 Kings 17: 7; 2 Kings 1: 3, 15; Ps. 34: 7; Zech. 1: 11, 12; 3: 5). This name is applied to Him not as a designation of equality with the other created spirits, for He was and ever is their superior, but simply to designate Him as the chief, the Messenger of God. Accordingly, we are to remember that this name is given to the created spirits, not to designate their nature or
mode of being, but their office as messengers of God. Their nature or mode of existence is rather designated by the word spirits (Heb. 1: 7, 14). That these beings, as well as the Logos, are called angels is evident from the following Scriptures: Matt. 1: 20, 24; 2: 13, 19; 28: 2; Luke 1: 11, 18, 19, 26, 28, 30, 34, 35, 38; 2: 9, 15; Acts 5: 19; 7: 30, 35; 8: 26; 12: 7, 23. They are also called morning stars, in Job 38: 7; hosts, in Gen. 32: 2; Joshua 5: 14; Ps. 33: 6; 103: 21; Luke 2: 13. They are called principalities, thrones, dominions, powers and mights, in Eph. 1: 21; 3: 10; Col. 1: 16; and some of them are called cherubim (Gen. 3: 24; Ezek. 28: 14, 16) and seraphim (Is. 6: 2, 6). Singularly enough, only three of them are known to us by name Michael (Dan. 10: 13, 21; 12: 1; Jude 9), Gabriel (Dan. 8: 16; 9: 21; Luke 1: 19, 26) and Lucifer (Is. 14: 12), who afterwards through sin became Satan, and by Palestinians was variously called, Baal, Beelzebub, Molech, Chemosh, etc.
At the outstart we must confess that we do not know very much about the nature of these beings. That they have bodies is evident from the Biblical teachings that spirits have bodies; for when the Bible speaks of God's having a shape (John 5: 37) and of the pre-human Logos as existing in God's form (Phil. 2: 6), it shows that both God has and the Archangel Michael had a body. The same is implied in the description of our Lord's and the saints' spiritual bodies (1 Cor. 15: 41-54). But we know nothing of their shapes or members. All we know about them as to the constituency of their bodies is that they are made of spiritual, immaterial, substances, like light, fire, etc. (Heb. 1: 7; Matt. 28: 3; Judges 13: 6). Their bodies are very glorious and bright, so much so as almost to paralyze a human who would look upon one (Matt. 28: 4; Dan. 8: 17, 27; 10: 7-11, 18). St. Paul got only a glimpse of the glory that emanated from our Lord's resurrection body (Acts 9: 3-8); and it blinded
him before his eyes could penetrate it and see the body itself out of which it shone (1 Tim. 6: 16). But, of course, our Lord's resurrection body, being of the Divine nature, is more glorious than that of the other spirits lower in nature than He. Even in His pre-human existence He had a higher nature tan any of the other created spirits, as St. Paul implies that when He took a lower nature He did not stoop to that of angels, but even lower, i.e., to human nature (Heb. 2: 16). Hence we cannot infer that as none can see our Lord's resurrection body because of its dwelling in a light unapproachable, so none can see the bodies of the other created spirits, for Daniel, as cited above, did see Gabriel's body, and the soldiers at our Lord's tomb saw the face of the angel who rolled away the rock before that tomb, at our Lord's resurrection. These remarks, of course, are not to be understood as referring to those materialized bodies which angels assumed to make revelations to humans.
Such materialized bodies were usually made to look like those of ordinary people and in some cases they were mistaken for humans at first (Heb. 13: 2); they were not the real—spiritual—bodies of those communicating angels. An examination of such appearances will prove these to have been materializations, not actual spirit bodies. This can be seen from the appearances of angels to Abraham (Gen. 18: 2; 22: 11-18), to Hagar (Gen. 16: 7), Lot (Gen. 19: 1-17), Jacob (Gen. 32: 24-30), Moses (Ex. 3: 2-6), Israel (Ex. 14: 19). Balaam (Num. 22: 31-35), Joshua (Josh. 5: 15), Gideon (Judg. 6: 11-22), Manoah and his wife (Judg. 13: 3-6, 9-20), David (2 Sam.
24: 16, 17), Elijah (1 Kings 19: 5-11), Daniel in the lions' den (Dan. 6: 22) and in the places noted above, the three Hebrew youths and Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 3: 25-28), Mary, Zacharias and the shepherds (Luke 1: 11-20, 26-38; 2: 9-15), Jesus after His temptation and in Gethsemane (Matt. 4: 11; Luke 22: 43), the
women at the sepulcher (Matt. 28: 5; Luke 24: 4-10; John 20: 11-13), the Eleven at the ascension (Acts 1: 10, 11), Peter and John (Acts 5: 19), Philip (Acts 8: 26), Peter (Acts 12: 7-11), Paul (Acts 27: 23) and John (Rev. 1: 1). In every one of these cases the manifestation was made by the angel or angels assuming Human bodies or some other form than that of their spiritual bodies, and thus they made the appearance. Hence from these cases we cannot infer anything as to their real bodies, except that they are spiritual; and, therefore, not being suitable for the purpose at hand, a materialization was necessary.
While not being able to convey a precise idea of the exact form, parts and all the constituents of their bodies, we know more about their qualities. We know that they are not immortal, since immortality is a quality exclusively of the Divine nature (1 Tim. 6: 16). Their mortality is proven by the fact that Lucifer, one of these, will die (Heb. 2: 15; Is. 27: 1) Nevertheless, since they are spiritual they have incorruptible bodies, bodies that do not decay, which is also a quality of the Divine nature (1 Cor. 15: 53, 54). They are gifted with exceedingly rapid powers of locomotion (Dan. 9: 21, 23), since Gabriel at the time that Daniel began to pray left Alcyone, God's abode, untold billions of miles from this earth and reached Daniel about the time he finished his prayer. Their bodies can pass through materials of great thickness, like walls, doors, etc. (Acts 12: 7-11), as easily as electricity passes through wires, after the manner that our Lord entered the upper room after His resurrection, and fallen angels enter houses for séances. Their bodies evidently have great 'strength (Ps. 103: 20), not only as evidenced in the things said in the two preceding sentences, but in rolling away the stone at the sepulcher, overcoming the obstacles to Peter's deliverance, destroying the Assyrian host (Is. 37: 36) and the firstborn in Egypt (Ex. 12: 29) and in destroying
Sodom, etc. (Gen. 19: 13, 24, 25). Their bodies are sexless and therefore they neither marry nor are given in marriage and cannot reproduce themselves (Luke 20: 35) after the manner of the animal creation. Since their bodies are incorruptible they do not eat to supply waste cells, since they have no cells that waste. It follows from this that their bodies are well; sickness, being a process of decay, does not prey on their bodies. Thus physically they are in a very fine condition. This accounts for the fact that even though some of them have sinned and are banished from heaven, the fallen angels, despite their mental, moral and religious corruption, have remained physically perfect. Thus we see that the angels came from the creative hand of God perfect in their bodies and have remained so, though it is doubtless millions of years, since their creation, for they were created before God began the creation of the universe—Gen. 1: 1; Job 38: 7.
As to their faculties of heart and mind: These as such were also created perfect, and that on a scale higher than the faculties of perfect humans. A fair idea of their ability to reason may be gotten from the accurate mathematical knowledge that they must have had in assisting the Logos so to manipulate the laws of nature as to balance the various solar systems which they assisted the Logos to bring into existence. The amount of mathematics, astronomy and physics needed to co-operate intelligently to bring these into orderly being transcends almost infinitely that of humanity's greatest mathematicians, astronomers and physicists. Then, too, their moral and religious faculties must be of stupendous strength. Their tenacity of will to righteousness and their steadfastness in equal love for one another and supreme love to God, persisting through millions of years, despite temptations to the contrary, prove of the good angels that they have had wonderfully strong moral and religious faculties,
whose compass of action and innate power greatly exceed those of perfect human moral and religious faculties. This, among other things, is implied in Ps. 103: 20, 21. They will not allow themselves to be worshiped; and they obey God—Ps. 103: 21; Matt. 6: 10; 1 Pet. 3: 22; 2 Pet. 2: 11; Judg. 6: 7.
To sum up, the main attributes of being that the angels have are spirituality, mortality, incorruptibility, longevity (the righteous of them having everlasting life), dependence, rapid locomobility, sexlessness, non-reproductiveness, corporeality, super-strength, knowledge and freedom from need of food, water, air or any other material thing for their sustenance. The main attributes of character among the good angels are faith, hope, love, obedience, fortitude, wisdom, self-control, patience, piety, brotherly-love, humility, simplicity, peace, joy, industry, aggressiveness, defensiveness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness, temperance, tactfulness, sincerity, magnanimity, kindness, economy, generosity, sympathy, appreciation, gratitude, gentleness, zeal, meekness, guilelessness, tenderness, faithfulness, friendliness, politeness, patriotism, filiality toward God, readiness to serve, diligence to duty, watchfulness to their charges and responsibilities and entire devotion to God as servants. Certainly they are from every standpoint a noble, gifted set of beings, an honor to God and a blessing to one another and to other beings.
These angels were created in various orders and natures. We are certain of their being of different natures so far as the Logos and other created spirit beings are concerned, because Heb. 2: 16 distinctly implies that the Logos was of a higher nature than the others, for when emptying Himself of His pre-human nature He stooped not only as low in nature as they, but even lower than they. This implies that He was of a higher nature than they. So there was at least that difference in nature between the Logos
and these created spirits. But we are of the opinion that the various names: cherubim, seraphim, principalities, thrones, dominions, powers [mights] and angels, of Gen. 3: 24; Is. 6: 2, 6; Rom. 8: 38; Eph. 1; 21; 3: 10; Col. 1: 16, indicate seven differences in nature among these heavenly beings, and as such are an expression of the manifold creative wisdom of God. But if these names do not imply differences in nature, assuredly they do indicate differences in rank, or order, among these beings. This is implied in the very use and meaning of these terms. The expression, Arch (chief) angel, implies a difference in the Logos' rank from the ranks of the other created spirits; and it seems entirely reasonable to conclude that the other names given above imply their differences as to nature as well as to rank. But since the Lord has not deigned to give us certainty on the subject as to whether the spirits lower than the Logos differ in nature, we are not to be dogmatic on this.
We now come to a discussion of their activities, limiting our discussion to those of the good angels. Those of the fallen angels we will discuss later. There are three distinct works, a share in which the Bible ascribes to the good angels: they have shared in the works of creation, of revelation and of providence, the latter both with respect to the righteous and the wicked. Their share in the work of creation was that of helpers of the Logos. As shown above God is the Creator in the sense of being creation's Source, Provider and Supervisor; the Logos is the Creator in the sense of being creation's Agent; and the angels are the assistants of the Logos in working out under His direction various details. The illustration of a building's architect, material provider and supervisor well illustrates the Father's part in creation; of a building's contractor well illustrates the Logos' part in creation; while that of a builder's mechanics well illustrates the angels' part in creation. This we infer from the latters'
being spoken of as mighty servants of God doing His pleasure, for which He made all things (Ps. 103: 20, 21; Rev. 4: 11). Again, we infer it from the fact that they were present at creation, as highly interested parties (Job 38: 4-7). This is also inferable from their being called chariots of God, on whom He figuratively rides—uses them for furthering His purpose—in the execution of His plans (Ps. 68: 17). Also this is inferable from the fact that they praise Him (Ps. 103: 20, 21; 148: 2; Job 38: 7), which they do by works rather than bywords, creation being a means of praising God by works (Ps. 19: 1-6). Their part in creation therefore seems to have been to lay hold on the materials— seemingly gases—out of which the universe was created, and to use the laws and forces of nature as their tools to construct the various solar systems of the universe. Similarly, they thus wrought on the earth to order it for the abode of plant and animal life, as well as to assist in bringing such life into being by manipulating certain materials, laws and forces to that end, doing everything under the superintendence of God and the direction of the Logos.
More clearly does the Bible reveal their activities in ministering revelations from God to man. While as a rule the Logos was the main Actor therein, He had the angels as assistants in this work. They were, e.g., before the flood, the teachers of the race, whom they sought to reform. This activity of theirs became the occasion of Satan's seducing many of them into sin, by prevailing upon them to assume human bodies and therein to marry women and raise families, ostensibly thereby to overcome the depravity transmitted by heredity (Gen. 6: 2-4). We will touch upon this more in detail when treating of the fallen angels. During the Patriarchal Age angels were active in giving revelations. Thus the Logos with two of them appeared to Abraham and Sarah, promising the advent of the typical seed (Gen. 18: 1-15). The Logos revealed -
to Abraham the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18: 16-32). The other two angels went to Sodom and revealed to Lot and his family the destruction of the cities of the plain (Gen. 19: 12-22). The Bible explicitly teaches that the angels assisted the Logos in giving the Law arrangements (Acts 7: 53; Gal. 3: 19; Heb. 2: 2). These constituted a large part of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Not only so, but they assisted the Logos in making revelations to the prophets. A most notable case to the point we find in Daniel, where some of its most remarkable prophecies were revealed to Daniel through Gabriel. In Dan. 8: 15-27 we have an account of the Logos' commanding Gabriel to clarify the vision given in the preceding verses, and of Gabriel then going and explaining the vision to Daniel. In Dan. 9: 21-27 Gabriel is again set forth as making a revelation to Daniel; and that revelation was one of the most important prophecies connected with our Lord's First Advent work and His activities in the Jewish Harvest. Again, Gabriel in Dan. 10; 11; 12; made the revelation of one of the most notable of all Bible prophecies to Daniel. The angel who spoke to Zechariah (1: 8-6; 8) was the Logos; but in giving the visions of these five full chapters he was assisted by another angel (Zech. 2: 3-13).
Angels were likewise active in making New Testament revelations. The first of these centered around the birth of John the Baptist and of our Lord. Thus Gabriel revealed to Zacharias, John's father, the birth and mission of John (Luke 1: 11-20). The same angel (Luke 1: 26-38) revealed to Mary the birth and mission of Jesus. An angel—likely Gabriel—revealed the secret of Mary's condition to Joseph, warned him to flee with the child and mother into Egypt, and to return to Palestine again (Matt. 1: 20-23; 2: 13, 19, 20). It was also an angel who revealed to the shepherds
the birth of the Messiah and other angels sang the great nativity anthem (Luke 2: 9-15). It was likely an animate angel revealed to our Lord in Gethsemane that all was well with His case before God (Luke 22: 43). Angels revealed Jesus' resurrection to the women (Matt. 28: 2-5; Mark 16: 5-7; Luke 24: 23; John 20: 12). Two of them at our Lord's ascension revealed the manner of His return (Acts 1: 10, 11). One of them revealed an opportunity of service for the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8: 26). An angel revealed to Cornelius where he could find Peter, who would become a preacher of the Truth to him (Acts 10: 3, 30-32). And it was an angel who acted as Jesus' agent in making to John the revelations contained in the book of Revelation, (Rev. 1: 1) i.e., that angel revealed an entire book-the last one of the New Testament. Thus we see that angels exercised a ministry on behalf of making known parts of the Old and New Testament revelations.
The third activity of the good angels is that of ministering providentially on behalf of God's people. This is manifest both by their Old and New Testament acts. In this work they act as God's servants, cooperating for the carrying out of His plans and purposes along providential lines. We are to understand that in this work they are subject to God's supervision exercised through His only begotten Son. Indeed, in most of these acts God's only begotten Son was the direct Agent in the providential acts. Undoubtedly the Logos is referred to by the angel who helped Hagar and sent her back to Sarah (Gen. 16: 7), as it was also He who assisted her and Ishmael and thus kept them from famishing from thirst (Gen. 21: 14-19). Likewise, it was He who prospered Eliezer's journey for a bride for Isaac (Gen. 24: 7, 40), as undoubtedly is was He who in various ways helped Jacob (Gen. 48: 16). Yet whatever assistance He may have needed we may be sure was rendered by the other
created spirits. We may be very sure that, as they assisted Him in establishing the Law Covenant in various of its features, they likewise assisted Him in ordering the events connected with giving the Law Covenant, beginning with Israel's deliverance by the Passover, which was the first institution of the Law Covenant, in working for them at the Red Sea, in sending them the supply of manna and quail and in ordering their other wilderness experiences and needs (Ex. 23: 20, 23; Num. 20: 16; Is. 63: 9).
The angel who awoke Elijah under the juniper tree and twice supplied him food and drink to strengthen him for his 40 days' journey to the mount of God was very likely another angel than the Logos, indicated by the indefinite way of introducing him into the narrative, "an angel," whereas the Logos is usually introduced in a definite way where He appears and acts, "the angel of the Lord" (1 Kings 19: 5-8). The angels attending God, and being at attention for service on behalf of Israel (2 Chron. 18: 18), show that they also assisted the Logos in His work toward God's people. All of us recall how they surrounded Elisha and protected him against the wiles and machinations of the Syrians, trust in which gave him serenity amid his danger, whereas his servant, Gehazi, was in great fear until his eyes were opened to see them (2 Kings 6: 1 7). The same thought is conveyed in Ps. 68: 17, where the angels are called God's chariots. Often have all of us from childhood on thought of their delivering Daniel in the lions' den (Dan. 6: 22). How lovingly did the angel minister to Zechariah (Zech. 1: 12-14). Many of the signal deliverances of Israel were undoubtedly wrought by angelic assistances, even though the record does not expressly so state, as, for instance, the overthrow of the Midianites by 12,000 Israelitish men, without the loss of a single Israelite (Num. 31), and by Gideon, without the loss of a single Israelite (Judg. 7: 8) and the great losses inflicted on
the Philistines by individuals, like Shamgar (Judg. 3: 31; 5: 6), Samson (Judg. 14; 15; 16), Jashobeam, Eleazar, Shammah and Abishai (2 Sam. 23: 8-19). Thus we see that in the Old Testament angels helped God's people.
They likewise have acted providentially in the interests of God's New Testament people. They are their guardian angels, who always have access to God on behalf of their wards (Matt. 18: 10). They are in the New Testament expressly spoken of as spirits ministering on behalf of the heirs of salvation (Heb. 1: 14). This service of theirs is also, though not exclusively indicated, as theirs, in Ps. 91: 11, 12, where we read of their being given a providential charge to preserve the Church in her ways and by their providential ministries (hands) to support her from stumbling over the Ransom and the sin-offerings. We have also seen how they ministered to shield Mary and Jesus through Joseph. In this spirit one of them delivered Peter and John from prison and told them to preach publicly undismayed in the temple (Acts 5: 19, 20). The angel who came to Cornelius helped him providentially to get a preacher of the gospel, though he was not permitted to preach it to him (Acts 10: 3-6; 11: 13, 14). Signal indeed was the deliverance that one of them wrought on Peter's behalf (Acts 12: 7-10). St. Paul, likewise, had the ministry of one, not only to prophesy that he and all with him would be delivered, though shipwrecked, but also providentially to fulfill that prophecy (Acts 27: 23, 43, 44). In innumerable ways have they ministered to God's people in their need throughout the Gospel Age, sometimes relieving their needs in almost miraculous ways, e.g., preserving the reformer Brenz, whose hiding place under the hay in a haymow, after a most thorough search, papal soldiers watched for nine days, then gave it up with the thought that, if there, he must be dead of starvation, but he was succored by
a hen that daily came to him and laid an egg in the straw under which he was hidden, and whence he could reach the egg without detection! A similar deliverance they wrought on behalf of Simon Menno, the Baptist reformer. Pastor Duncan, another reformer, driven out of Scotland by James VI, was with his wife and children starving, which led him to prayer, and though an utter stranger at Berwick, whither he fled, an unknown man came to him giving him a sackful of provisions, among which was stowed away a £20 note. No wonder Pastor Duncan said to his fearful wife: "See what a good Master I serve." Many of us can testify to very singular deliverances wrought upon us or upon others that we have known. Countless of such cases have occurred throughout the Gospel Age, even if we may not know of a millionth of them. They prove that the angels, as the guardians of God's people, care for them. It is these experiences, as well as Scriptures, that have convinced many of God's people that the Scriptures are right in teaching the existence and ministry of good angels.
These angels have performed another ministry executing judgment on the wicked, either simply as retribution or as a retribution to the wicked and a deliverance of God's people. Thus they delivered righteous Lot, but punished Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain (Gen. 19: 1-15). So, too, they delivered Israel at the Red Sea and smote the Egyptians with destruction (Ex. 14; 15: 1-20). So, too, an angel executed punishment upon Israel for its participation with David in his pride at numbering Israel (2 Sam. 24: 16, 17). When the Assyrians, like a plague of locusts, overran Judah, Hezekiah and Isaiah offering acceptable prayer in the presence of imminent destruction, God by His angels overthrew 185,000 of the host of the Assyrians and the few spared beheld the dead multitudes (2 Kings 19: 35; 2 Chronicles. 32: 21; Is. 37: 36). Thus the wicked have
been as chaff before the wind, whom the Lord's Angel pursued and chased (Ps. 35: 5, 6). When the proud Herod, after persecuting the Jerusalem Church, allowed himself to be lauded as a god, the Angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory, and he died miserably, as food for worms. Exemplary punishments were heaped upon the public and private persecutors of God's people during the Gospel Age, beginning with the Jewish persecutors, proceeding with the pagan persecutors and culminating with the papal persecutors, of whom we may mention a few: Nero, Julian, Conrad of Marburg, the inquisitor; Bishop Gardiner and the other chief Marian persecutors, Charles IX, the French king, infamous for the massacre of St. Bartholomew's night, etc. The nations that have persecuted have terribly suffered for it. And in the very near future God will doubtless, by more or less angelic cooperation, exact justice for the righteous blood shed, especially by Great Babylon (Rev. 18: 24, 5-23). Thus have the angels had a ministry of executing judgment upon the wicked before and since Christ. Thus we see that the angels are servants of God. They delight to understand God's Word and works (1 Pet. 1: 12). They take pleasure in serving His designs, and are to be recognized and appreciated by us as such. We are, however, not to worship them, nor do their holy hearts desire it (Judg. 13: 15, 16). They are pleased to help us without anything in return for it, other than the consciousness that thereby they please God and help us. We believe we might well make, as a return for their kindnesses, good efforts not to increase their work on our behalf by mistakes and misdeeds of ours, whereby their work is increased and made more difficult, and their holy hearts are made sad, as doubtless our good progress in grace, knowledge and service is a delight to our guardian angels. We will, if honored with spirit existence, have opportunity to thank them for their ministries on our
behalf, when we will learn from them of many a deliverance or service of which we now know little or nothing.
Having treated of the good angels as a part of God's creation, we will now discuss the evil angels. But since the general title of this book is Creation, how come we to treat of evil angels in such a book? Is it because we think that God created some angels good and other angels bad? Certainly not; for He made all angels good; because all God's completed works, such as are the angels, were by their creation made perfect (Deut. 32: 4). Hence the evil angels, who for millions of years after their creation remained good, later made themselves, in the exercise of their free wills, sinful and thus evil. To make oneself sinful and to sin are not creative works; nor is sin a creature. Sin is the quality of an act transgressing God's law; and to sin is to exercise a quality in transgressing God's law. Accordingly, when we say that angels made themselves sinful, we do not mean that they performed a work of creation, but that they exercised a quality or qualities in such a way as to make a change in their characters from good to evil. So when people ask us, since God made all creation, whether He created the devil, our answer should be that God created very good a certain angel, who much later made himself sinful and who, because of the evil change he made in his moral qualities, changed, not his nature, but his character, into evil and thus became the devil. So with all fallen angels. Hence the propriety of discussing them in a work on Creation.
Hence originally that being was good whom we call Satan (1 Chro. 21: 1; Job 1: 6; John 13: 27; Acts 5: 3; 26: 18; Rom. 16: 20), which name in Hebrew, like its Greek equivalent—diabolos, whence comes our English word devil—means adversary, opponent. But Satan was not his original name. Until he sinned and led the race into sin his name was Lucifer—light—
bearer (Is. 14: 12). In nature and rank he was a cherub, one of the highest of all angels (Ezek. 28: 14, 16). Ezek. 28: 12-19, addressing him as the king of Tyre, because Tyre symbolizes the present evil world, whose ruler is Satan, gives us a fairly detailed description of Lucifer before he sinned and after he sinned and of his final end— annihilation. In both literal and symbolic language his physical, mental, moral and religious perfection is set forth in vs. 12-15. The expression, thou sealest the sum, refers to the fullness of his perfection, intellectually (.full of wisdom) and physically, morally and religiously, since the word beauty refers to his physical, moral and religious qualities. He was such even for a while after he was made guardian angel to Adam and Eve in Eden (vs. 13, 14). More particularly are his pre-fallen moral and religious qualities brought to our attention by the figure of his being covered with precious stones (v. 13); for these and other precious stones are used to symbolize the moral and religious perfections of the glorified Church, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, as New Jerusalem (Rev. 21: 11-21), as they are also among the stones mentioned in the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 39: 10-13). V. 14 first describes his work in Eden as guardian of Adam and Eve and later describes his position and work among the heavenly hosts. V. 15 shows that he had been perfectly righteous and good from the time of his creation for probably millions of years later, even until he in Eden fell into sin. His subsequently corrupting himself is graphically described in vs. 16-18, while his final influence and annihilation in the Little Season following the Millennium are described in v. 19. Thus this Scripture gives us a comprehensive description of this cherub's history.
Thus so far we see him called Lucifer, Satan and covering (protecting) cherub; but he is also called by other names than these in the Bible. It would be profitable for us to consider these, which refer to him