Time or Eternity? ™

Angels cont’d

In Angels on January 25, 2011 at 8:30 am

Their Number

The Bible does not inform us as to the exact number of the angels, but many texts show conclusively that there is a vast host of them.

When the multitude from the chief priests came to arrest Jesus, He said to them, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53) A legion is three or four thousand. So, at a word, Christ could have had more than forty thousand angels to defend Him.  John, on the Isle of Patmos, was given a view of the heavenly host, and endeavored to express the number. He said there were “ten thousand times ten thousand” (one hundred million), and as this could not express the number, he adds, “and thousands of thousands.” (Rev. 5:11)  Paul speaks of the angels as “an innumerable company.” (Heb. 12 : 22) No adequate idea of the number of the heavenly family can be expressed.

Their Power.

When King Hezekiah was confronted with the overwhelming army of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, he cried to God for aid, and in the night a single angel sent from God slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand of the heathen host. See 2 Kings 19.  We are not told by what means those mighty men of valor were destroyed, but their death so struck terror to the heart of their wicked king that he at once abandoned his campaign against Jerusalem. How puny is the might of a whole army of men in comparison with the power of even one member of the Lord’s heavenlv host!  An angel shut the mouths of the lions when Daniel was cast among them. The three Hebrew captives were protected in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace when “the form of the Fourth” (doubtless the Son of God) came among them. In unnumbered ways the Lord has, through His angels, miraculously intervened to protect His servants in times of distress. And if our eyes were “opened” we would behold scenes of the intervention of the angels of God as miraculous as any recorded in the divine Word.

Orders of Angels.

God is a God of order. The heavenly hosts are properly organized, and the different orders of angels have their positions to occupy, and their appropriate work to do.  Now, if the angels are marshaled in armies (plural number, Rev. 19:14), and are subject to the orders of a chief commander, it is necessarily implied that there are also subordinate commanders, and captains of smaller divisions. We often read in the Bible of cherubim (Eze. 10:1), of seraphim (Isa. 6:1-6), of dominions, of principalities, of powers, etc., (Col. 1: 16); all of these, we conclude, are different orders of angels. We may further suppose that each company is subject to its commander, and he to one yet higher, and so on, till we reach the Commander-in-chief, the Son of God.

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