Theology: Angels – ARCHANGELS

A fun study is to compare the following accounts and list the similarities as well as the differences that are listed. Ezekiel one; Ezekiel 10; Isaiah 59; and Revelation 4:6ff. There are some questions that should come up. Why the differences? Why the similarities? Are these the same scene? Where is this scene? Etc.?

 

I think that most feel that these are the same scene with different men’s perceptions of that scene. The perception of the men gives us the differences, while the similarities come from the fact that they viewed the same scene. There is also a possibility that the scene was viewed from different distances and angles of view, which could also cause the differences.

 

We will see in this study that there is warfare being waged in heaven. Consider for a while why there would be warfare in the heavenlies. Might it be related to the fact that the Devil is still attempting to usurp God? Yes, this is the case. He accomplishes this by causing doubt in believers, by ensnaring the lost, and blocking, or slowing God’s work here on earth.

 

We will also see that there is organization in the heavenly scene. Again, take some time to consider why. There are several possibilities. First, there is chaos without some organization. Secondly, God is an organized Being. This can be seen in the creation. The warfare dictates the need for organization. What army in history ever functioned without organization. The American Indians often lost battles, according to the movie version of history, because the white man knew they all followed what the chief said, and if the chief was killed, chaos usually followed.

 

Within this organizational system there are different levels of angels. We want to look at these classes of angels as well as the angels that are mentioned by name.

 

ARCHANGEL

 

The term Archangel is Strong’s 743 and is the Greek term “arkangelos.” It is used of Michael in the New Testament, but the term is not used of him in the Old Testament. Michael is mentioned in the Old Testament, however and the term prince is used of him there. Vine mentions that Romans 8:38 and Ephesians 1:21 use the term “arche” as principalities. This is the prefix placed with angel to form archangel.

 

Funk in his word origins book mentions that the term “arche” means “beginning” or “origin”. From this we use the term before other terms to show the preeminence. Archbishop, archenemy, archeology, etc. (Funk, Wilfred; “Word Origins And Their Romantic Stories”; New York: Bell Publishing Co., MCML)

 

The term is used of one coming with the Lord for God’s people. The verse states, “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 Thessalonians 4:16 The indications are that the archangel will be with the Lord when He comes.

 

Jude nine names the archangel Michael.

 

1. Michael means “Who is like God?” according to Dickason. He mentions that this is quite a contrast with what Lucifer mentions, “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14).

 

He is mentioned inDaniel 10:13. Michael came to assist a messenger sent to give Daniel some information. They struggled with the Devil, or his emissaries.

 

Michael is mentioned as “one of the chief princes” which would indicate more than one “chief prince.” This could be one other or many others, there is no way to know from this text.

 

Daniel 10:21 mentions “Michael, your prince” speaking to Daniel. Michael was in some way Daniel’s prince. (“prince” = Strong’s 8269 = “sar.” Strong states, “a head person (of any rank or class)” The term is a general term that is used 381 times in the Old Testament. It is used of many things all of which show a headship of the person. It is used for things such as princes of Israel, princes of other nations, religious leaders, political leaders, the Messiah and as we know the angelic host.)

 

The princes of Persia that Daniel mentions would give the thought that there may well be a hierarchy within Satans forces as well.

 

 

Daniel 12:1 mentions Michael as the prince of the children of Israel. In some manner Michael stood for the nation Israel. This would indicate that he was a special angel of protection for the nation.

 

Jude nine mentions that Michael contended with the Devil over the body of Moses after Moses died. The contention is not what we want to observe. We want to see the fact that Michael had a battle with the Devil and that he won the battle.

 

In this text Michael is entitled the archangel. It might be observed that Michael had two terms used of him. There are two terms for this class of angel. The terms used are “prince” and “archangel”, one being in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. It would seem that the two are both descriptive of a position or office within the structure of the angelic host.

 

Revelation 12:7 tells us that Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and his angels. This would indicate that Michael has angels assigned to him to control and direct in the spiritual warfare going on in the heavenlies.

 

2. Gabriel Means “God’s hero” according to Ryrie. I will list the verses which mention him and add comments as needed.

 

Daniel 8:16: Gabriel is instructed to give Daniel information. The verse mentions that Gabriel spoke with a man’s voice.

 

Daniel 9:21: Again in this verse Gabriel is giving information to Daniel. It might well be surmised that the messenger of Daniel 10:13 is also Gabriel. This would put Michael and Gabriel fighting the forces of the Devil together.

 

Luke 1:19: This verse shows Gabriel to be a messenger again, only this time he is giving information to Zacharias about the coming birth of John The Baptist. In Luke 1:26 he is seen appearing to Mary, again giving information. He is certainly a messenger.

 

Luke 1:19: In this verse he is mentioned as one that “stands in the presence of God….” This would indicate that he is specifically a messenger that awaits God’s command and is God’s messenger to man upon certain occasions.

 

 

Conclusions relating to archangels:

 

1. There is more than one prince in the Old Testament.

 

2. The princes of the Old Testament are probably the archangels of the New Testament.

 

3. Michael is an archangel.

 

4. Gabriel is possibly an archangel. This is impossible to determine. He is not mentioned as such. He is definitely a messenger as opposed to the warfare of Michael, so may or may not be an archangel. If he is an archangel then the class of archangels can have different duties. (Messenger/warrior)

 

CHERUB

 

This is Strong’s number 3742 and Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament’s number 1036. Strong mentions of keruwb, “a cherub or imaginary figure” TWOT mentions that it is a name for angels that are pictured in Scripture as part man and part animal.

 

It comes from an Akkadian term meaning “to bless, praise, adore”. It is used first in Genesis 3:24 of the guards at the gate of the garden of Eden. They were next seen on the ark of the covenant and on the drapes of the tabernacle. Their image was used in Solomon’s temple and will be used in the Millennial temple according to Ezekiel. (Exodus 25:19; 37:8; Ezekiel 41:18-25)

 

2 Samuel 22:1-11 records a song of David which depicts God riding on a cherub. This might relate to the idea that the visions depict the throne of the Lord over the four creatures. Ezekiel mentions that the creatures have wheels under them, and that they move with the wheels. (Psalm 18:10 is a similar thought of the Lord riding a cherub.)

 

1 Kings 6:24-27 shows that there were cherubs in the temple that Solomon built. (2 Chronicles 3:11-12 also)

 

Ezekiel 9:3 depicts the cherubim on the ark (formed by man at God’s instructions) and the fact that the glory of the Lord is leaving that position as God prepares to leave the temple. This was His dwelling place from the time of the Exodus to the time of Ezekiel.

 

Ezekiel 10:2-14 shows the cherubs to be the four creatures that are under the throne of God in the heavenlies. (Ezekiel 1 and 11:21 also mentions them) The description is very detailed and i.s similar to the vision of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1ff, and John in Revelation 4:6ff.

 

Ezekiel 28:14-16 names the Devil as a cherub before he fell. He was one of the highest angels originally. Verse fourteen mentions,

 

“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth, and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of god; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”

 

The idea of walking might well indicate that he was walking in and out among the creatures that Ezekiel mentions. The term “anointed” and the term “covereth,” as well as the phrase “upon the holy mountain” indicate that he had access and/or position other than that of one of the four creatures. I wonder if He might have had the position of Gabriel originally. Gabriel would fit into this terminology.

 

CHERUBIM

 

Cherub = Funk and Wagnalls, “A representation of a beautiful winged child, the accepted type of the angelic cherub…..In Scripture, a celestial being.”

 

In Genesis 3:24 the cherubim were stationed at the gate of the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had been sent out. The fact that the four living creatures are called cherubs would strongly indicate that this is the dwelling place of God at that time in history. (Topic number d04350 is a study on the Garden of Eden and mentions this dwelling place of God.)

 

(To summarize the texts: Exodus 25:18-22 speaks of the two cherubs on the lid of the ark; Exodus 26:1 speaks of the ones on the curtains; Exodus 26:31 speaks of the ones on the veil; Numbers 7:89 tells of the fact that God communicated with Moses from between the cherubim on the mercy seat; I Ki. 6:23-35 mentions Solomon’s temple; I Ki. 8:6-7 depicts the cherubim on the ark as the glory of the Lord came to Solomon’s temple.)

 

 

SERAPHIM

 

Seraph according to Funk and Wagnalls is “A celestial being having three pairs of wings.” (“Funk And Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary”; New York: Funk and Wagnalls Inc., 1976)

 

Isaiah 6:2 and 6 are the only references which use this term. It seems to be speaking of the same creatures as Ezekiel describes in his chapter ten.

 

I, have for years, thought that this was a descriptive term of the beings named cherubim. The similarities between the cherubim and seraphim are great and the term seraphim is closely related to fire. The Cherub would be the class of the being, while Seraphim would be a term describing their appearance. I have never run across anyone that agreed with me until in 1991 when I looked it up in the “Theological Wordbook Of The Old Testament”. They agree with me.

 

Billy Graham disagrees. He views the Seraphim as lower than the Cherubim. This is seen in “Angels:God’s Secret Agents” New York: Doubleday & Co., 1975, p 49.

 

Dickason also disagrees and suggests that the seraphim are different from the cherubim. “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. (Dickason, C. Fred; “Angels

Elect And Evil”; Chicago: Moody Press, 1975, p 65)

 

Dickason also makes a distinction between the cherub of Ezekiel and the living creatures in Revelation. He bases this on the differences in the two authors descriptions. Personally, if John were looking from one side only, his description of the beings would be very similar to the creatures of Ezek.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Colossians 1:16,

APPLICATION

 

 

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers — all things were created by him, and for him;”

 

 

Even with the warfare that is raging on around us on the spiritual plain, we can have a confidence in God. He is in control even in that realm. He has his army and it is constantly controlling the influence of the Devil and his followers.

 

2. As we begin to see the powers of the angelic host we should remember that the demonic host is also powerful. We should put a healthy respect into our thinking, as we would do battle with the Devil and his. We need not fear them, but we should not be overconfident. Prayer is the key to controlling the Devil’s activities and not our own might, power, and wisdom.

 

3. Daniel depicts a great watchfulness over Israel in the spiritual realm. I assume the angelic host is also as watchful and active on the behalf of the church.

 

With the Spirit indewlling individuals, with the Spirit gifting individuals to build up the church, with Christ present when we gather together, with the angelic host watching over us, just what are we doing in the church today? Planning softball leagues, aerobics, fellowship dinners, sweet heart banquets, Christmas Banquets, teas, etc.

 

Why aren’t we planning evangelism campaigns, missions conferences and edification seminars?

 

REALLY, ARE WE WORTHY OF ALL THE ATTENTION GOD HAS GIVEN US?[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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