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What the Bible says about Angels
(From Forerunner Commentary)

We tend to take for granted a great deal about God and His relationship with various aspects of His creation. These are things we accept but rarely research in His Word, for instance, His relationship with angels. Seeing how the Bible reveals mankind as going through all kinds of devious mental contortions to avoid submitting to God, we frequently think of angels as being somewhat robotic, without personality and passively, automatically doing their thing. But the Bible shows that angels are created beings like us but of much greater capacity and immortal besides. Hebrews 2:7 plainly states, "You made [man] a little lower than the angels."

This means they have personalities like men and greater abilities. When we consider mankind's technological achievements and that angels are greater than humans, we can speculate on the wonders they could produce if they did not patiently restrain themselves out of respect for God. They are mighty indeed! Hebrews 1:14 says of angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" At least partly because of misunderstanding this verse, some have reckoned angels as the domesticated animals of the spirit world! Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are great, thinking, powerful beings who are by choice submissive to God.

Daniel 10:8 reveals an inkling of this potential power when apparently the angel Gabriel, with more than his usual glory evident, confronts the prophet. "Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength." On another occasion, the apostle John, overcome by the appearance of an angel, bows down to it. But he is told, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God" (Revelation 22:9). These godly men are awed in the presence of beings of greater holiness and power than themselves.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Five

Related Topics: Angels


Angels are personal spirit beings, each having a mind of greater capacity and ability than ours. They are capable of attitudes, purposes, and intentions. But as wonderful and powerful as angels are, they have no authority apart from God. In Matthew 28:18, Christ said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." Our Savior has complete control over all spirit beings. We should, therefore, direct all our requests for our needs to God, not to angels.

As the chief servants of God Almighty, angels do His will in all things, whether toward His future sons or against the wicked. The Bible shows some of the ways God uses them to carry out His will. Against sinners, God used them to destroy Sodom for its perversions (Genesis 19:1, 13); to curse Meroz because the people refused to help Israel (Judges 5:23); to bring pestilence upon Israel when David numbered them (II Samuel 24:15-17); to kill Herod for not giving glory to God (Acts 12:23); and to avenge those who persecute the saints (Psalm 35:5-6).

Conversely, the ministry of the holy angels to the elect includes guiding, providing for, protecting, delivering, comforting, and gathering. The author of Hebrews calls them "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). To minister means "to do service for." Holy angels are sent forth to do service for the saints, the elect of God, those going on to perfection and inheriting eternal life. They are here to save us from accidents or premature death and to help us attain eternal life. The ministry of angels to the elect is an inspiring and encouraging proof of God's care and concern for us.

An analogy may help to explain how the holy angels minister to us today under God's direction. Consider the relationship between a wealthy man's young son and the man's servant. Being older and more knowledgeable, the servant is responsible for caring for the boy even though he has much less potential than the son. When the son has matured, he inherits his father's wealth, influence, and power. But the guardian remains at the same stature. As servants, angels are older, more knowledgeable, more powerful, and since they are spirit, they are better developed mentally. Yet our potential as begotten sons of God is far greater than the angels (Hebrews 2:6-8; I Corinthians 6:2-3).

Martin G. Collins
The Ministry of Angels

Related Topics: Angels


Genesis 6:1-4

Some maintain that these verses assert that angels married women before the Flood and engendered a race of giants. This idea sounds like the sub-plot of a science fiction story! But can it be the truth?

It is true that verse 2 states that the "sons of God . . . took wives for themselves of all whom they chose." These "sons of God," however, were not angels. The fact is that angels do not marry. Jesus tells us this clearly: "For in the resurrection they [humans] neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30; see Mark 12:25).

Angels cannot cohabit nor reproduce with women. Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:13-14). Women are human beings. Angels and women, then, are two different kinds of being. Kind reproduces after kind, and different species cannot breed.

In his modern, perverted science—"falsely called knowledge" (I Timothy 6:20)—Satan encourages men to experiment with the crossing and mixing of the most unlikely creatures. For example, goats have been genetically altered by the insertion of a spider gene to produce silk products that God never intended in His original design. Right from the beginning, at the re-creation of the world (Psalm 104:30), God says that this is not to be. He establishes a strict law that each kind must reproduce only after its own kind (Genesis 1:11-12, 21, 24-25).

This rule is also backed up and made clear by the context of our difficult scripture. In Genesis 6:3, God says, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh." He is speaking of fleshly mankind here, not angels. Although it is true that the children of these couples were "mighty," like their parents, they were still only human.

It is true that angels are sometimes called "sons of God" (Job 1:6; 38:7). Remember, though, that angels "neither marry, nor are given in marriage."

Secondly, the phrase "sons of God" sometimes refers to Christians, regenerated by God's Spirit but still human (John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 19; Philippians 2:15; I John 3:1-2).

A third meaning refers to mankind in general, because all men are sons of God by creation: "I said, 'You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men . . .'" (Psalm 82:6-7). Although the King James and New King James versions have "children of the Most High," many other translations have "sons of the Most High." Additional verses use similar terminology to refer to humans (Malachi 2:10; Luke 3:38).

Through Adam, then, every human being is a child of God.

Since these "sons of God"—those who are the subjects of our difficult scripture—were obviously not regenerated Christians, and could not have been angels, it is evident that they were simply human members of mankind in general: Men who had forsaken God and were intermarrying in defiance of His law.

We should note one final point. Genesis 6:4 reads, "There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown."

This verse shows that giants and extraordinarily mighty men existed after the sons of God married the daughters of men and implies that they existed beforehand as well. It does not state that such huge and powerful men were the result only of these marriages. Giants have existed throughout recorded history, before and after the Flood and down to modern times.

Did Angels Marry Human Women?

Related Topics: Angels | Giants | Kind Reproduces Kind | Sons of God


Genesis 19:1

These angels are the other two who were with the Lord when He was entertained by Abraham. The other two "men" are identified conclusively as angels. It is interesting that the story begins in Genesis 18:1 as though these three spirit beings just suddenly appeared, as if one moment Abraham could not see them, and the next moment three people were suddenly there. Apparently, Abraham was of such experience that he recognized immediately who they were. He certainly was not nonplussed because he immediately bowed down and worshipped one of them, recognizing that One as the Lord.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)

Genesis 19:3

The angels ate. Can we assume they had the other bodily parts necessary for consuming a meal—stomach, intestines? It is difficult to determine how far we can carry this, but they did eat human food.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Three)

Genesis 19:4

This leaves the impression that they had every intention of sleeping. Perhaps they just pretended to sleep. One does not ordinarily think of angels sleeping, but they were at least going to lie down in Lot's house as if to sleep.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Three)

Related Topics: Angels | Angels appearing as Men | Sleep


Genesis 19:10-11

These angels reached out and pulled Lot in, so their hands were solid enough to yank Lot back into the house. Their hands did not just pass through Lot's arm, body, clothing, or whatever they grabbed him by. They had substance. Then they used some measure of spiritual power because, though the door was closed and those who were trying to get in were on the other side of it, they struck blind those who were outside so that they were disoriented and unsure about what was going on.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)

Genesis 19:17-22

Compared with the rest of the story, there is a sudden change in the pronouns from plural to singular. Notice verse 17, "So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said"—one of the messengers speaks. In verse 18, Lot addresses them and uses the term "lords." Keil & Delitzsch Commentary says, No, "lord" is singular in the Hebrew.

Adonai, "Lord," is the name of God. Is it the name of Melchizedek? Was Melchizedek there to destroy the city? If the messenger was not Melchizedek, why did Lot call him "lord"? Why in verses 21 and 22 does the angel take the authority to himself to destroy the city? He says to Lot, "I cannot do anything until you arrive there," and then verse 24 relates, "The LORD rained down. . . ." Is the LORD the same "lord" who was the "I" of verse 22? An interesting sequence of verses.

Not only does Keil & Delitzsch say this, but the Jewish Publication Society's Tanahk, the King James Version, and the Revised Standard Version all reinforce this idea in various ways.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Four)

Related Topics: Adonai | Angels | Angels appearing as Men | Lord | Lot | Melchizedek


Genesis 19:21-24

These angels had power; they say directly they were the ones who would destroy the city. That power and the authority to do that had been delegated to them by God. They had authority to get Lot and his family out of the city, and they had delegated authority to punish the cities.

Consider that God did not script everything out for them. What does that mean to us? Like men, these angels had minds, and they had to think things through. Is this in line with the charges that God gives us? In the situations we find ourselves in, we have to think, "Would this be okay? What are our alternatives here?" In other words, the angels did not just march into the city, commandeer what they needed, grab Lot by the seat of his pants, and throw him unceremoniously outside of the city. They had the authority to allow Lot choices, and they worked within the framework God had given them. This means that angels have minds with which to assemble facts, to think, and to devise alternatives.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Three)

Related Topics: Angelic Intervention | Angels | Choices | Choosing


2 Kings 6:14-17

It is likely that Elisha could not literally see all of these spirit beings that were out there on the mountain. But by faith, through the eyes of faith—because he knew God, because he was close to God—he understood that God was with Him always and a tremendous army of angelic beings protected His servant Elisha.

Whether that army was always there is a moot point. They may have been there simply because the Syrian army was there. It does not matter whether there was one or many angels. It is really an indication of God through Elisha and through the vision to this young man that wherever God is things are weighted in our favor. We have no need to fear the many who may come against us.

We need to realize that there are more for us than there are against us, and a great deal of spiritual activity is taking place around us that we are not physically able to discern. Nevertheless, it is there. God is showing us here that this is true. God intends this section to give us some encouragement.

From this, we ought to be able to understand that God is greater than any emergency we might find ourselves in. He tells us in Psalm 34:7, "The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them." This man of God understood by spiritual discernment that things were going on around him, and by the same token, because we have the Spirit of God, we should also be sensitive to this because God's Word shows that this is indeed occurring.

Most people only see what is human. In fact, physically, that is all we can see. But we have to know—it has to be part of the way, the means, or the wherewithal by which we act. Jesus Christ, a divine Spirit, is the guiding force of His church. He tells us He will never leave us or forsake us. Just as sure as there are spirit beings who rule and guide the church, there are spirit beings who rule and guide the world. We see both sides of it here.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 3)

Job 38:4

The terms "morning stars" and "sons of God" are biblical names for angels, who express joy when events in God's plan unfold. Not only God but also angels are thrilled when a sinner repents of his worldly ways. Prayer for forgiveness brings about joyous repentance and restoration of righteousness in a person's life.

Martin G. Collins

Isaiah 14:12-15

It becomes clear, once we fit this together with II Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:3-4,9; and Ezekiel 28:12-14, that God assigned the angels to the earth under their commander, Lucifer (Helel in Hebrew), who was the sum total of all that God could create by fiat in a created being, perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. We see a picture of a being of awesome beauty and power, of tremendous intelligence, and like us, a creature of free moral agency.

Something happened to that great being, and he began a campaign of deceit. He began to separate from God a number of the angels, undoubtedly using the reasoning that they should have more, that God should treat them better, that God was being unfair, that they did not have the liberty or the power that was due them. At some point he began to express, "I will be like the Most High."

Some commentators say that the Hebrew says in reality, "Iwill be God," not just like God. We can see what he wanted: complete power, authority, and control. He did not want to be under another; he did not want to be submissive. He did not want another being pulling his strings or controlling him.

He wanted to sit, as it says, on the mount of the congregation. So he decided, "I willmake war. I will ascend into heaven." So the demons left their first estate, the realm of their authority, and they mounted up in war and attacked God. They were soundly defeated and cast down. Their first domain became a place of restraint, literally "a silo," a pit, where they were chained. This suggests that, as a result of their rebellion, they no longer have the liberty that they once had, but are now held in restraint. A great deal of their free moral agency was taken from them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 1)

Ezekiel 28:12-13

This passage deals with an unusual being of great beauty who was in the Garden of Eden. Precious stones are part of his covering, which probably means they were part of the clothing that adorned him. This being is a created being, not one who was born. In addition to that, he is—or was—full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. Obviously, God is not speaking of a human being. This personage was the sum total of all that God could create by fiat and put into a living being. In verse 14, He identifies him more clearly.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 1)

Daniel 6:22

Daniel indicates two reasons why God sends his angels to protect and deliver His people: He was innocent of breaking God's law, and he respected the leadership God had placed over him (Romans 13:1-5). God uses His angels to keep His faithful servants from harm.

Martin G. Collins
The Ministry of Angels

Daniel 10:5-6

Obviously, this is no man—he just looks like a man. The Bible does not name who it is, but he is undoubtedly an angelic creature. The best guess is that it is the same angel Daniel dealt with before, Gabriel.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 1)

Daniel 10:5

What did his clothing hang on, if the common conception of spirit as just an essence is true—that there is not really anything there? Casper the Friendly Ghost seems to be covered in a white sheet, and he goes flitting around, but he has no real form or shape there because that is the common conception of spirit—that there is really nothing there. But with angels, there is something there! Spirit beings have substance, though they are spirit. Notice, he even has a waist (or loins, KJV) as human beings do.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Three)

Daniel 10:6

He had, as we would describe it today, an iridescent, glorious body, blazing eyes, and a booming voice. And this being is not even God!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Three)

Daniel 10:7

Only one saw this, and the others fled in terror—but even they were aware of a presence. They knew something was there. Perhaps the hair on the back of their heads stood up on end, and their skin felt creepy. Maybe they had a feeling of dread as though they knew they were in the presence of an awesome power of great magnitude but could not see or feel it. But it was there. A presence frightened them, but they could not clearly identify it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)

Related Topics: Angels | Daniel's Vision | Dread | Fear | Terror


Daniel 10:8-13

This was an awesome being of power, so great that ordinarily strong, valiant men were so frightened that they ran. Yet something withstood this great being to his face and kept him from getting to Daniel for three full weeks. We cannot even begin to imagine the titanic struggle that went on between, say, Gabriel and this other being. There must have been such an awesome wrestling match as men have never been witness to.

Whatever it was that withheld Gabriel from getting to Daniel must have been awfully powerful. Notice too that this great struggle was going on without Daniel even being aware of it. Somehow a malignant demon tried to thwart Daniel's prayer from being answered.

But it was answered because, in verse 13, "Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia." It was not until two of them ganged up on this other being—two great, mighty archangels to subdue the other. The logical conclusion would almost have to be that the king of Persia mentioned here was none other than Satan.

This section in Daniel 10 really contains a great deal of encouragement. We can understand why the apostle Paul and the psalmist wrote that the angels are ministering spirits. They are ministering to the heirs of salvation. They are protecting us! They are standing between us and possible annihilation! We do not know how many times an angel has intervened to save our lives, to deflect the power of these malignant beings from us. It has happened repeatedly in some cases, not just in dramatic interventions, but where an intervention took place of which we were not even aware.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 1)

Daniel 12:1

God has delegated responsibility to angelic beings. Do we understand the significance of this? He has not scripted everything out, and every one of these angelic beings is required to report to God from time to time about what is happening in his area of responsibility.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 5)

Matthew 18:10-11

Notice that it says angels—plural—who report to God, which is what "see the face of God" means: They stand before Him, are in communication with Him, give reports to Him, analyze and give evaluations to Him. They are telling Him what our needs are. What is the purpose of these angels? They ensure that we have every opportunity to grow to the greatest extent possible that God might save us and reward us to our highest potential.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Five)

1 Corinthians 15:41

All things in creation have bodies designed for their purpose in creation. And though there are similarities in design, they are different because of function. Notice how often the word "body" appears in this context, and within its purview, the cherubim, seraphim, and angels are included.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)

1 Corinthians 15:42-49

The image Paul speaks of is not merely that we will be composed of spirit even as Christ is, but that our very nature and character be like His. If God desired that we merely be spirit, He could have made us like angels. Angels, however, are not God; they are angels. God is doing a work in us through which we will become like Him, not like angels.

His purpose requires that we cooperate. Though our part is very small by comparison to what He is doing, it is nonetheless vital. Notice how Paul draws this beautiful section of I Corinthians to a conclusion by drawing our attention to what it will take on our part to make God's purpose work: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:57-58).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Three): Hope

Ephesians 6:12

This verse tells us that our warfare is against demons, and they—angels who rose up against God—look upon us as invaders. As any invaded people would, they see themselves as rising to defend their home and territory despite the fact that they probably know that God has given this earth to us as an inheritance.

This is a spiritual parallel of Israel coming out of Egypt, going through the wilderness to their inheritance in Canaan, but Canaan was already inhabited. The Canaanites rose up to defend themselves against those they saw as invaders. Who knows if the Canaanites knew that God had promised their land to Abraham and his descendants? Rahab seemed to understand this in Jericho, so it is likely that the Canaanites also knew these things.

God does not do things in a corner; He witnesses to people when He acts. The demons are well aware that they are defending themselves from those who will take over their estate—and they are going to fight to hold it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What I Believe About Conspiracy Theories

Hebrews 1:1-4

Christ, by inheritance, has obtained the promises. Are we not co-heirs with Christ? Will we inherit the same things that He did? Verse 4 says, ". . . by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they [angels]." Is He greater than angels? There is no comparison between what He is now and an angel! He is their great Creator.

The writer of Hebrews is tracing the inheritance of the promises from the standpoint of Jesus, the Man, dying, being resurrected from the dead, and ascending to heaven. He is the inheritor of the promises that came to Him as the result of meeting the terms of the covenant given to Abraham. He became the heir, and what was His inheritance? This passage says that His inheritance was to become God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 13)

Hebrews 1:14

Angel literally means "messenger." Hebrews 1:14 calls them "ministering [or serving] spirits," sent by God to aid the heirs of salvation. A messenger is one dispatched to carry out a responsibility in service to the sender, and in this case, in service to the recipients as well. God has created beings greater than we are to serve us! A key to understand why He has done this is in recognizing God's sovereignty in the words "sent forth." The greater (God) rules and utilizes the lesser (angels). The Bible shows God actively commanding and managing them to perform functions in His governance of Project Earth.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Five

1 Peter 3:18-20

This passage in I Peter 3, particularly verses 19-20, is quite difficult to translate from Greek to English. This is so because each of the nine Greek words in verse 19 can be translated in various shades of meaning, making interpretation tricky. We probably do best by translating them in their most basic meanings, thus: "in which also He went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison . . ." (author's paraphrase).

The "which" ("whom" in NKJV) in verse 19 probably refers back to "Spirit," its closest antecedent, in verse 18, suggesting that Jesus was no longer in the flesh but by this time had been changed into spirit. This follows the historical chain of events in order from the preceding verse: He suffered, died, was resurrected, and was thus changed to spirit, leading to the next key words, "He went."

What happened next in the gospel record after His resurrection to spirit? What did Jesus do after arising from the dead? Some might suggest that He revealed Himself to His disciples, which He did, but not by any stretch of meaning could it be described as going and proclaiming to imprisoned spirits! No, John tells us through the words of Jesus Himself to Mary Magdalene what the next momentous occurrence was: "[G]o to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God'" (John 20:17). When Jesus "went," He ascended in glory to the right hand of the Father in heaven!

At this point, we will skip to the phrase "spirits in prison." First, let us note that the Bible does not refer to human beings who have died as being imprisoned in any way, not even those who have rebelled against and rejected God. They may be said to be "destroyed" or "killed" or "cut off" or sent to "Sheol," which is a pit or grave, but they are never imprisoned. As we saw, humans who die return to the dust of which they are made (see also Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:19-20).

However, the Bible speaks in several places about spirit beings - angels or demons - being imprisoned (see II Peter 2:4-5, where Peter again refers to Noah's time; Jude 6; and Revelation 20:1-3, 7). Rebellious angels, unlike mortal humans, must be imprisoned because angels or demons, being composed of spirit, do not die as humans do. The "angels who sinned," Peter and Jude say, were cast down to Tartarus ("a place of restraint," a prison) where they are bound until God judges them. This Tartarus, this "hell" where the demons are restrained, is none other than their "first estate," their "proper domain," earth (see Ezekiel 28:17; Revelation 12:7-9)!

Second, Peter's use of "spirits" is consistent with its use in the gospels (see, for instance, Matthew 8:16; 12:45; Mark 3:11; 5:13; 6:7; Luke 11:26; etc.). In the gospels, "spirits" consistently denotes "evil spirits," "demons," "wicked spirits." It is highly likely that Peter refers to demons in I Peter 3:19.

This is confirmed by the first phrase of verse 20, "who formerly were disobedient" (NKJV) or "who disobeyed long ago" (New International Version, [NIV]). Peter is speaking of a time in deep antiquity, a time before the Flood. Perhaps he does not intend us to think of Satan's original sin of rebellion against God (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28), although it may be included, but specifically of the demons' corruption of mankind between the Creation and the Flood.

This would explain his time marker in the next phrase, "when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built" (NIV). In Satan's sin, only the demons themselves were affected, but when they corrupted mankind, human beings who were potential sons of God were affected. Once men and women began sinning under the influence of Satan and his demon horde, the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ became necessary.

Peter's point, then, is that, though the wicked spirits seemed to be so successful in corrupting mankind, God patiently waited during Noah's 120-year ministry to save only eight people by bringing them through the Flood, delivering them through a kind of baptism. The demons had failed to destroy mankind. So also, by having Jesus crucified, the demons thought again they had won, but through the resurrection, Jesus had the victory instead. Baptism is a type of this same victory, as it is a symbolic death of the old, wicked man and of his resurrection to newness of life (see Romans 6:4).

This brings us back to the word in I Peter 3:19 that we skipped: "proclaimed" (or in many Bibles, "preached"). Most objective commentaries will note that this word in the Greek (ekêruxen from kêrússô) means in general "to be a herald," "to proclaim," "to announce," "to publish," "to preach." Although it can be used as such, it does not necessarily mean "to preach the gospel to" or "to preach salvation to." Because Peter does not specify what Jesus "proclaimed" or "announced," to assume the preaching of the gospel is not warranted. The only clue we have of what He proclaimed appears in the immediate context: that He was "made alive by the Spirit."

If this is the case, verse 19 says simply that, after Jesus was resurrected, He ascended to heaven, proclaiming to the imprisoned evil spirits that He lived! The demons, once again, had failed!

Verse 22 backs this interpretation: "who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him." This agrees with many scriptures that speak of His exaltation over all things, for instance, Philippians 2:9-10: "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth." Jesus' ascension to the throne of God proclaimed His victory over death and over Satan and his demons!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jesus and 'the Spirits in Prison'

Revelation 12:4

Revelation 12:4 suggests an aspect of an angel's capacity. In biblical imagery, "stars" are symbols of angels. The verse implies that Satan coerced a third of these great beings to choose to submit to him and follow him in resisting God Himself as well as the outworking of His purpose in us. The Devil's persuasion and the angels' subsequent choices occurred in the distant past, and those who submitted to him are now demons against whom we wrestle (Ephesians 6:12).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Five

Revelation 12:4

Stars, a symbol of angels, is used, meaning his angels—demons—were cast out with him. The Devil and his angels were cast to the earth. We have insight here into a major battle that took place in heaven, one that Satan and his angels lost, and they were cast to the earth. Unfortunately, that is where we live.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 1)

Revelation 12:7-9

Compare the language here with Daniel 10:5-21—spirit beings fighting and being cast down, even as humans fight. Only when humans fight, the loser is cast down in defeat and death. With the angelic beings, they are cast down in defeat, but there is no death.

How, then, is essence cast down? Arguments that posit spirit to be essentially insubstantial begin to become ridiculous. How does one cast down smoke, if we can think of essence in terms of smoke? Did Michael and his angels find big fans and blow the demon essence toward the earth? No, these verses give every indication that these spirit beings have substance. They are spirit, but they are substantial, tangible (that is, "capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch"; synonyms are "palpable," "substantially real," "material").

Gabriel touched Daniel, and he was aware of feeling a hand touch him on the shoulder. Another time a hand touched him on the lips, and he was able to speak. The hand had substance.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part Three)

Find more Bible verses about Angels:
Angels {Torrey's}

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