Biblical theology includes an understanding of angelic and demonic forces. The spiritual realm is a war field with stakes higher than we could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
- The biblical word for “angel” means “messenger.”
- Malak in the Hebrew Old Testament.
- Angelos in the Greek New Testament.
- God created angels for ministerial functions.
- To God (Heb. 1:14; Ps. 148:1-2; Job 38:7; Isa. 6:3; Ps. 103:20; Rev. 5:11)
- To Mankind (Gen. 3:22-24; 19:1, 15-17; Ps. 91:11; Luke 15:10; 1 Thess. 4:16)
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him (Matthew 4:11).
- While the substance of angels is more spiritual than physical, they can and will take form for certain assignments.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).
- Angels fill certain hierarchical roles within the heavenly court.
- Categories: angels, archangels, cherubim, seraphim, etc.
- Individuals: Michael (Daniel 12:1; 10:13. 21; Rev. 12:7-9) & Gabriel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26).
Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels (Matt. 26:53)?
- Lucifer (“shining one”) is the supreme archangel of the fallen angels who rebelled against God.
- Satan is no match for God but possesses far superior strength to us.
- Satan’s (“accuser”) cartoonish depiction came from a medieval belief that you could resist him by mocking him.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).
- The goal of Satan and his forces:
- Inciting false worship (Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17)
- Inflicting physical suffering (Job 2:1-10; 2 Cor. 12:7)
- Enslaving in sin (John 8:34, 44; Acts 26:18)
- Lying (John 8:44)
- Scheming evil (2 Cor. 2:11; 2 Tim. 2:26)
- Blinding unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4)
- Disguising evil (2 Cor. 11:14)
- Opposing the progress of saints (Eph. 6:10-20)
- Hindering godly ministry (1 Thess. 2:18)
- Spreading of false doctrine (1 Tim. 4:1)
- Seeking to destroy (1 Pet. 5:8)
- Inspiring false teachers (1 John 4:1-4)
- Inciting persecution (Rev. 2:10)
- Deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9)
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.