Torrey - Angels -1.01- Character, Position

I. THEIR NATURE AND POSITION. Colossians 1:16 RV — "For in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him."

First Proposition: Angels are created beings — created by (Greek: "in"), through, and unto the Son of God. 2 Peter 2:11 — "Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord."

Second Proposition: Angels are greater than man in power and might. (Compare to Psalm 8:4-5.) 2 Thessalonians 1:7 — "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels."

Third Proposition: Angels are mighty, having great power. Acts 5:19 RV — "But an angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them out." Acts 12:7,23 RV — "And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shined in the cell: and he smote Peter on the side, and awoke him, saying, Rise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands." Matthew 22:30 — "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Luke 20:35-36 — "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels: and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."

Fourth Proposition: Angels neither marry nor die. Mark 13:31 RV — "But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."

Fifth Proposition: Angels have great knowledge, but are not omniscient. (Compare to Ephesians 3:10-11 and 1 Peter 1:12.) Revelation 22:8-9 RV — "And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets, and with them which keep the words of this book: worship God."

Sixth Proposition: Angels are not proper objects of worship.

Here lies a clear and broad line of distinction between Jesus and the angels. Jude 1:9 — "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about he body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." 1 Thessalonians 4:16 — "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 1 Peter 3:22 — "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."

Seventh Proposition: There are ranks or orders of angels, and all ranks of angels have been made subject to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:6 — "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Eighth Proposition: All the angels of God are bidden to worship Jesus the Son of God.

Luke: 9:26 — -"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels."

Ninth Proposition: The angels are glorious beings. (Compare to Matthew 28:2-3 RV — "And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow." Revelation 10:1 RV — -"And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, arrayed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire." Daniel 10:6 — ''His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.") 2 Peter 2:4 RV — "And if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."

Tenth Proposition: Some of the angels sinned, and God cast them down to hell and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved for judgment.

It has been suggested that these angels were the earlier inhabitants of the earth, and that the earth became "without form and void" ( Genesis 1:2) as a judgment upon their sins,just as, after the earth was reorganized for man's abode, it was cursed because of man's fall. (Compare to Isaiah 34:10-11 — "It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.") Here we read the land was made "waste" because of sin, and the line of "confusion" (Hebrew: "without form") and plummet of "emptiness" (Hebrew: "void") stretched over it. Jeremiah 4:23-27: — "I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. And I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. And I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end." Isaiah 45:18 RV — "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; he is God; that formed the earth and made it; he established it, he created it not a waste, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."

In this last verse we are told that God did not create the earth a "waste" (same Hebrew word as the one translated "without form" in Genesis 1:2). It seems clear, then, that it must have become so by someone's sin before man's creation. Genesis 1:2 should then be translated, "And the earth became without form, and void" (or "waste and void"). The first verse of the chapter would then describe the creation; the second verse, the desolation visited upon the earth because of the sin of pre-Adamite inhabitants; the latter part of verse 2 and following verses, the rehabilitation of the earth to be a habitation for the new Adamite race. 1 Corinthians 6:3 — "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?"

Eleventh Proposition: Angels shall be judged by believers. This may refer only to the angels who fell. Luke 2:9,13 RV — "And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory, of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid." John 20:12 — "And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain." Genesis 32:1-2 — "And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim."

Twelfth Proposition: Angels have sometimes been seen by men.