A Study of Theology II – Part 1

By: Dr. Thomas Figart; ©{{{copyright}}}
TAngels are spirit beings with powers superior to men, but far less than God. They are real persons, just as God is a real person, though He is a Spirit being.

A Study of Theology – Part 1

Theology II[1]Notes: Part I

  • Angelology: Study of Angels
  • Anthropology: Study of Man
  • Hamartiology: Study of Sin

Angelology: The Study of Angels

I. Origin and Description of Angels.

A. Origin: They were created by God. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth.” This reveals that nothing more needed to be done to the heavens, but that: “the earth was without form and void…. It also allows for the fact that angels were created on that first day, and that their abode was in the third heaven (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:2; the abode of God, the second heaven being the stars and planets; the first heaven , that of the clouds). Other Scriptures which support this view include Job 38:4-7; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 33:6.

B. Description: Angels are spirit beings with powers superior to men, but far less
than God (2 Peter 2:9-11; Jude 5-6). They are real persons, just as God is a real person, though He is a Spirit being. Personality in angels includes intellect (2 Samuel 14:20), sensibility (such as joy, Job 38:4-7; and wrath, Revelation 12:7-12) and will (2 Timothy 2:26).

Angels have the ability to assume real bodies which can eat food, become weary and
sleep, get dirty and be washed (Genesis 18-19). In these same chapters, the angels appear to be the size of ordinary humans, and are designated as young in age (Mark 16:5).

Only two angels are named in Scripture, Michael, the archangel (Jude 9; Revelation
12:7) and Gabriel (Luke 1:19), and there are never any female angels mentioned, so it is not the proper name for females!

Vast numbers of angels were created, but no exact total is given (Revelation 5:11,
“Ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”; Daniel 7:9-10).

C. Two Kinds of Angels: Holy (Unfallen) and Evil (Fallen).

1. Holy Angels. Mark 8:38. These angels live in heaven, Matthew 18:10, and are also
called “sons of God,” Job:38:7; “mighty ones,” Joel 3:11; “watchers,” Daniel 4:13; “elect angels,” 1 Timothy 5:21. At least seven other terms are used, such as principalities, powers, cherubim, seraphim, and there have been attempts to classify angels into hierarchies; but it is not absolutely clear how this should be done. It is obvious, however, that different functions for some groups are listed, and Michael is called an “archangel,” Jude 9, and Gabriel, “one who stands in the presence of God,” Luke 1:19. All angels were created holy, but eventually some decided to rebel against God, and these were cast out of heaven and
are known as demons, or Fallen angels.

2. Fallen Angels

a. Satan. Although “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold it was very good” (Genesis 1:31); including all the angels, they were created with real personalities, which included intellect, sensibility and will.

At some point after creation, but before he appeared as the Serpent in the garden of Eden, Satan was called Lucifer, or “day-star” (Isaiah 14:12-15), the “son of the morning.” But because he said in his heart, five “I will” statements, finishing with: “I will be like the Most High,” he was “fallen from heaven,” and would be “brought down into hell.”

Ezekiel 28 gives further information; just as Isaiah uses an earthly (king of Babylon), Ezekiel uses the ancient King of Tyre to explain Satan’s fall: Several excerpts from Ezekiel 28:11-17 will indicate Lucifer’s condition at creation and his fall: “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and beauty…. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God…. Thou art the anointed Cherub that covereth, and I have set thee so; Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee… thou hast sinned; therefore, I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God, and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub….
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty…. I will cast thee to the ground.” None of these things could be true of a king of Tyre.

Revelation 12:3-4, 7-9, gives the account of how a third of the angels in heaven were
drawn away by the great dragon, (who is identified as Satan,) then defeated by Michael and
his angels and cast out into the earth.

b. Satan’s Free Angels, or Demons. They are free to do Satan’s bidding on earth.
Matthew 12:22-26; Ephesians 6:12.

c. Evil angels in “chains of darkness”, in the section of hell called “Tartarus” because
of particular sin described in Jude 6-7 as “fornication.”

This term, porneia, can refer to any kind of sexual activity or relationship forbidden by God
(Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5). Connect this with Genesis 6:2-6, when “the sons of God” went in unto “the daughters of men” and produced “giants in the earth.” The Hebrew word
for “giants” is nephilim, “fallen ones” from the Hebrew word naphal, “to fall.” This explains
why God says in Genesis 6:5-7, that the wickedness of man was so great that He would have
to destroy the world with a flood, saving only Noah and his family. Just think, if God had not
destroyed that wicked generation, some of whom were the result of fallen angels producing
fallen ones there may have been no possibility of a pure virgin existing to be the mother
of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:18-20)!

d. Demon Possession (The following information from Matthew 8:28-34, is
condensed from my commentary on Matthew: The King of the Kingdom of Heaven.)

1). The Legitimacy of Demon Possession. Matthew 8:28

Jesus met “two possessed with demons, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce so that no
man might pass by that way.” This was real demon possession; note Mark 5:8 when Jesus
commanded: “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” Then, in Matthew 8:31 the demon
said: “If thou cast us out, let us go away into the herd of swine.” This was not some mere
outer influence. Mark 5:4-5 adds this concerning one of the two men; he is described as:
“Having been often bound with chains and fetters, and the chains had been plucked asunder
by him and the fetters broken in pieces.” He was untamable and was: “cutting himself with
stones.” Thus, there is no reason to doubt that unbelievers can be so possessed that the
demons can speak through the man’s vocal cords and be able to demonstrate superhuman
strength through his body.

2). The Limitations of Demon Possession. Matthew 8:29-32

Christ is sovereign over them. “And behold, they cried out saying, What have we to do
with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?” (8:29a). They actually fell down and worshiped Him
(Mark 5:5-6; Luke 8:28). James 2:18: “the demons also believe and tremble.”

Christ will eventually destroy them. “Art thou come here to torment us before the
time? (8:29b). They thought He was going to cast them into the “abyss” (Luke 8:31; Rev.
20:1-3) Surprisingly enough, they seemed to know their eternal judgment!

They knew Christ’s present power over them, Matthew 8:30-32. The demons had to
ask His permission to go into the herd of swine. There were 2,000 swine in the herd, yet
there was a “legion” (3,000-6,000) of demons in two human beings! Little wonder, that the
ones who were possessed were described as “exceedingly fierce.” Our only sure knowledge
of the spirit world is confined to the Scriptures; thus this strange request is difficult to
understand. However, if the owners of the swine were Jews, it may have been God’s
overruling way to have them say this to remind the Jews that He still expected obedience to
His Law concerning the use of unclean animals

3). The Liberation from Demon Possession. Matthew 8:33-34. Matthew’s account is
brief: verse 33: “And they that kept them (the swine keepers) fled, and went their ways into
the city and told everything, and what was befallen to those possessed with demons.” Mark
5:15 gives more detail: “And they (the city people) come to Jesus, and see him that was
possessed with demon, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind, and they
were afraid.” This affected “the whole city” (Matthew 8:34) to the extent that “they besought
him that he would depart from their borders.”

This highly unusual reaction of the entire city of Gadara might have remained
unanswered; but it may have been because they thought only in financial terms, namely,
that if Jesus remained in their city, He would have caused more trouble with their breaking
of Jewish Law, as with the swine herding. Normally, a proper reaction to having gotten rid
of demonic influence from their city would have been joy and gladness. Matthew 11:20-24
says Jesus “began to upbraid the cities in which most of his mighty works were done, because
of their unbelief” including two towns close to His heart, Capernaum and Nazareth, so it is
not surprising that He was unwelcome in the cities of the Gadarenes. However, though
Jesus did not permit those healed of demonism to follow Him, one of them went to the ten
cities of Decapolis and declared “what great things Jesus had done for him, and all men did
marvel” (Mark 5:20). Did any believe in Christ? Only eternity will reveal the answer to that
question.

4). Further Discussion Concerning Exorcism of Demons. Matthew 12.

The following information is condensed from the author’s book: The King of the
Kingdom of Heaven.

When Christ was accused by the Pharisees of casting out demons by Beelzebub the
prince of demons, identified as Satan in Matthew 12:26-27, He answered with three
questions, at the same time, giving three Principles:

First, the Principle of a Divided Kingdom. “Every kingdom divided against itself is
brought to desolation; and every city or house against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast
out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?” (12:26-27). Satan
is called “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), with his principalities, powers
and rulers of the darkness under his control (Ephesians 6:11-12), or as Jesus said: “the
prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).

This principle also indicates that you cannot be a part of two opposing kingdoms at
the same time; we have been delivered of darkness and translated into the kingdom of
God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:13). Therefore, Christians can never be possessed with
demons.

Second, the Principle of Divine Power. “And if I, by Beelzebub, cast out demons, by
whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I cast out
demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matthew 12:27-28).

Only two kinds of exorcism are possible; the true and the false:

True Exorcism

True Exorcism by Christ, shown here and elsewhere in Scripture.

The Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:8).

The Seventy, given authority over demons (Luke 10:17-20).

Paul cast out demons (Acts 16:18; 19:12).

Philip cast out demons (Acts 8:5-8).

The sons of the Pharisees cast out demons (Matthew 12:27).

Compare Mark 9:38-40; Luke 9:49-50: “And John answered and said, We saw one casting out
demons in thy name, and we forbade him, for he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto
him, Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us.” Jesus did not choose to reveal how
this man knew of Him, or how the “sons” of the Pharisees could be given a true gift of
exorcism, but in both cases He did not condemn them. Similar occurrences of spiritual gifts
are found in the Old Testament. In Numbers 11:24-30 seventy elders prophesied when the
Spirit of God rested upon them Two others, Eldad and Medad, who did not go out to the
Tabernacle, also prophesied when the Spirit rested upon them. But when Joshua asked
Moses to forbid them, Moses said, “Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord’s
people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his Spirit upon them!”

False Exorcism

In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus said: “Many will say unto me in that day, Lord have we not
prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out demons? And in thy name done many
wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye
that work iniquity.”

In Acts 19:13-17 seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, also called “vagabond Jews, exorcists,”
attempted to call out an evil spirit in the name of Jesus, but were overcome by that evil
spirit, who would not recognize their authority, saying: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but
who are ye?”

 


NOTES

  1. For Theology I see “Study of God” series by Dr. Thomas Figart.

Leave a Comment





MOST POPULAR
RECENT ARTICLES