Dickason’s book, «Angels: Elect and Evil» is a great resource of spiritual truth for the Christian Biblical scholar. As believers, we need to be familiar with what the Bible teaches about angels, demons and Satan, the head of the evil spirits. We also must be aware of their activities and great powers. The book clearly exposes their existence, origin, names, ranks and ministry and it concludes with a summary of the defeat of Satan and the believer’s defense against the demonic forces.
Many make the tragic and un-Scriptural mistake of thinking that Christ is the first and highest of all of God’s angelic creatures. The Bible is very clear when it talks about the nature of Christ and that of the angels. Scriptures such as Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-3; John 10:30; John 14:8; John 8:58; Col. 1:17, 19; Rom.9:5 clearly state that Christ is eternal and equal to the Father, God Almighty. By no means is Christ a created being for that would destroy the Biblical teaching on the Trinity person of the Godhead and the eternality of God. Jesus is unique, eternally begotten of the Father without beginning or end. According to Col.2:9, Jesus is the complete and personal revelation of God the Father whereas angels were created in the image of God, implying they have a beginning point and were created by an outside source-God.
Angels are spirit beings whose office is to do service to the Father and Son in heaven and by His command to intervene in man’s affairs upon the earth. They are messengers of God and are not to be worshipped or prayed to. Another thing to be noticed concerning angels is that they are not assigned dominion in the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus said in 1Cor.6:3 that we will reign with Him over the angelic host and judge them.
The nature of man is also different from that of angels for the reason of our own frailty and limitations. In Heb. 2:5-7 mankind is described as «a little lower than the angels». The different services angels do may further support this distinction between them and humans. Angels are sent to minister to redeemed men who are the inheritors of salvation. They are greater in intelligence, strength, speed and are not subject to death like all other men.
The Scriptures communicate that there are several special classes of angelic beings: the cherubim, seraphim and living creatures (beasts), all these individually having their own design and duties. Only two angels besides Satan are identified by personal names: Michael and Gabriel. It seems that Michael is the military leader while Gabriel is the leading messenger. In Jude 9 Michael is revealed to us as being an archangel, status which immediately separates him into a higher position than the other angels of the army of God. Gabriel means «mighty one of God». Daniel 9:21 gives us a little more details about his great strength and extraordinary speed and also of the fact that he has permanent access to the throne of God. The Bible continues to name many other kinds of angels such as the messengers of the seven churches in the book of Revelation, the seven angels who stand before God, those who direct the seven last plagues, the fallen angels etc. but one worthy of notice is The Angel of Jehovah.
The Angel of Jehovah has been revealed to be a theophany of God in visible and bodily form before the incarnation of Christ. He is a unique messenger in the Old Testament and has the title of Elohim- the mighty one, used only of the true God. His appearances were evidences of God’s grace in revealing His person and purpose to His people. Some of His ministries are only those that God can do which further argue for his identity as the preincarnate Christ.
Glory be to God who has given us evidences of His grace in Christ even before Jesus came to earth as a child !