Dehaan Angels and Demons Nature

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification is a very short book of 4 chapters on different points on angels and demons.

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification is a very short book of 4 chapters on different points on angels and demons.

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

by M. R. DeHaan (1891-1965)
1. Generally About Angels
2. The Importance of Angels
3. The Fall of Angels
4. The Ministry of Angels
From Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification. Four Radio Sermons by M. R. DeHaan. [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Radio Bible Class, no date].

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

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Extract from the Module Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

Chapter Two

“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” Hebrews 1:5-7.

This is only one of over two hundred and fifty times in which the Bible mentions angels, the angels of God, indicating the prominent place they occupy in the revelation of Scripture. In this first chapter of Hebrews the writer is showing the superiority of the Lord Jesus over the angels, the highest created beings which came from the hand of God. We have pointed out already that they are created beings, all created at one time, wholly subject to and forever worshipping the Lord Jesus, the Eternal Son of God. In our first message on “Angels” we emphasized the importance of studying what the Bible says about these spirit beings. No one can profitably neglect what the Bible has to say about them, for God wants us to know all the Scripture and to be fully and completely informed about all matters of which the Bible treats, and especially the subject of angels, for they are going to be our constant attendants and companions throughout eternity. We also pointed out that they are created beings who were already present when God formed the world. We saw that they exist in countless numbers in heaven, on the earth, in the atmosphere, and probably inhabiting the millions of planets and heavenly bodies just as they once lived here upon the earth.

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

Importance of the Study of Angels

In every age there have been those who have denied the existence of angelic beings, together with the rest of the supernatural. The Sadducees of Jesus’ day denied the existence of these ministers of God, as well as the reality of the resurrection. It is often said that belief in angels is immaterial to salvation, that it is one of the non-essential doctrines of little consequence. But such shallow statements only betrays ignorance of the very subject we pass judgment upon. For the Bible is crystal-clear on the importance of the truth of angels. All the saints of the Old Testament believed in them. The prophets and the seers of old with one accord bear testimony to their activity in the revelation of God. To state, therefore, that there are no angels is to reduce the Bible to a book of fables and superstition, to label the writers of Scripture as ignorant and deluded fanatics, but worse than that, it means to impugn the truthfulness and the authority of Jesus Himself. Our Lord Jesus constantly affirmed and asserted the existence of angels, referring to them time and time and time again. Skeptics have tried to answer this problem by saying two things; first, there are those who claim that Jesus Himself did not know any better, and He accepted the existence of angels without proof. The second argument is milder, but just as dangerous. They tell us that Jesus knew better than to believe in angels, but knowing the deep-rooted superstition and belief of His hearers in the existence of angels, He did not attempt to correct them, but rather adapted Himself to the age of ignorance and assumed to believe it when He really did not. Either one of these arguments would destroy both the veracity of the Bible and the dependability and the truthfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Active in Jesus’ Ministry

The facts of Scripture, however, are the exact opposite. The whole life and ministry of the Lord Jesus may truly be termed an angelic ministry, since angels seemed to be with Him from the very beginning to the end. His birth was announced by an angel, and heralded by a great multitude of the heavenly host. When He was being threatened by Herod, it was an angel who warned Joseph to flee into Egypt. In the temptation in the wilderness angels came to minister to Him. In the garden it was an angel who strengthened Him. At the tomb angels waited to announce His resurrection. At His ascension He sent back two heavenly messengers to assure the hearts of the disciples of His return, and when Jesus does return, it will be with the hosts of heaven, the armies of the angels. The doctrine of angels is so closely bound up with our faith in Christ that I make bold to say that a man can no more be saved without believing in angels than without believing in Christ Himself, for the same Bible clearly teaches both, and to reject part of the Scripture means to destroy the whole.

The Nature of Angels

We take up next the interesting study of the nature of these powerful beings created by God. We must remember as we study their peculiar and different nature that they are created beings. As such, they have all the limitations of creatures, and do not share any of the divine attributes which only the Creator possesses. Angels, therefore, are not omniscient, but they are limited in their knowledge, and dependent upon their information and knowledge concerning all things upon the revelation of God just as we are. That they are exceedingly wise, since the unfallen angels have not been perverted by sin, is very clear in the Bible, but they do not know all things. The Bible tells us that they cannot comprehend the divine plan of salvation, but angels have desired to look into it. They are also ignorant, according to Jesus, of the exact time of Christ’s return, although they will be very, very active in the glorious event.

Moreover, angels are not omnipresent, but like all creatures, can be present in only one place at a time. They cannot be in heaven and on earth at the same instant. Many references in the Bible, however, do suggest that they travel with exceeding swiftness, with the rapidity of light, but they cannot transport themselves from one place to another without the lapse of time. Jesus could do this in His resurrected body, to be sure. He was with His disciples in Emmaus one moment, and immediately after He was in the upper room with the apostles in Jerusalem. But not so with angelic beings.

They must take time to travel from place to place. In the ninth chapter of Daniel we have the angel Gabriel informing Daniel, that as he began to pray, he (Gabriel), was sent to bring the answer to Daniel, but he did not arrive until Daniel had almost finished his prayer. Since we do not know where Gabriel was when the commandment to go to Daniel was given, we cannot, of course, speculate on the distance which he traveled, and therefore, with what speed he came; but it is well to remember, because from time immemorial there has been a tendency to worship angels as though they were God. This is strictly forbidden by the Almighty. Only God is to be worshipped, never a creature, whether it be a man or a woman, a saint or an angel. It is just as wrong to give worship to an angel as it is to worship an idol of stone or a human being.

They Are Not Omnipotent

But just as angels are swift in going from place to place, but not omnipresent, wise but not omniscient, so too, they are exceedingly powerful but not omnipotent. Great and mighty supernatural feats are ascribed to angels, but the prerogatives of deity are never theirs. They cannot create, they cannot redeem, but all their powers are only by the special permission and will of God, and while they are real persons and individuals just as much as we are, they too are limited just as we are; the only difference being one of degree and extent of these creature limitations.

From time unknown theologians have discussed the question as to the corporeality of angels. Do they have bodies, or are they only spirits as we usually think of them? Now most of you, I am sure, would be inclined to answer immediately, No, angels are spirits and therefore have no bodies at all. However, I am sure that a little thought and study of the Bible will definitely reveal that angels do have bodies. The difficulty is this, that when we think of bodies, we immediately, invariably, think of something we can feel and see and apprehend with our physical senses, but the only bodies in existence are not material or physical or tangible bodies. We know that there are also spiritual bodies, intangible, invisible to the material senses. God Himself is said to have a form (whatever that form may be). We are told that Christ, though He were in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation. What this form of God is, no human knows.

The Lord Jesus Himself suggests that angels have bodies. When He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection they thought they had seen a spirit, and He says to them:

“Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39.

Here the Lord Jesus clearly states that angels do not have bodies of flesh and bones. But at the same time, He does not say that they have no bodies at all, but rather infers that their bodies are different, that is, not of flesh and bones. Paul in discussing under inspiration, our resurrection body teaches the same thing. He says in 1 Corinthians 15,
“But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” 1 Corinthians 15:38-40.

There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. A body, therefore, need not be physical at all. How many different kinds of bodies God has created for all His creatures we do not know now. It may be that on the myriads of planets on this universe there are thousands of other kinds of creatures whom God has made; creatures which are neither human nor angelic, neither physical nor spiritual. Just because God has not revealed anything about this does not mean that they do not or cannot exist. Personally, I do not believe that all of the countless millions and probably billions of planets stretching out for millions of light years into space, some of them thousands of times bigger than our own earth are uninhabited. Many scientists believe that our nearest neighbor, Mars, is inhabited by some sort of intelligent beings. God has not been pleased to reveal anything about this to us definitely, and I realize that much of this is mere speculation, but I have always felt that it will be one of the many surprises which God is reserving for us when we reach the glory, to see that God’s creative power did not cease, nor was it exhausted when He made men to dwell on earth and angels to dwell in heaven. Now I realize, and I hope you will take it in that spirit, that this is speculation, but it certainly exalts the Creator to even imagine other creatures which we cannot even conceive of as having been created to bring Him praise and glory throughout all eternity.

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

The Appearance of Angels

The possession of bodies, for angels, seems to be a pre-requisite for their work. Angelic beings, both angels and demons, seem to be relatively, if not totally powerless without these bodies. When they appeared in the Old and New Testament they always appeared in bodily, visible form, when they communicated with man. In a later message when we speak of the fallen angels, we shall find out that these demons also once had bodies before they fell and rebelled against God. But after these angels rebelled against the Almighty, one of their punishments was this, that God took their bodies away from them, and thereby rendered them powerless, except as God permitted them to assume another bodily form. In Genesis 6, the sons of God (angelic beings) through a vicious union with the daughters of men produced a race of incarnated beings called giants. Now the word, giants, in Genesis 6 is “nephillim,” from the Hebrew word, “Naphal,” which means “to fall.” Giants, then, are fallen ones, demons possessing human bodies. So serious was this matter that God destroyed the whole population of these fallen beings and consigned these wicked spirits into a prison house from which they will not be delivered until after the Church of Jesus Christ has been raptured. (See Jude 6.)

In Jesus’ day demons always appeared in men. The man possessed with demons at Gadara is only one of many instances which demonstrate that they need bodies in order to operate. You will remember, because of the curse of God upon these fallen angels they are disembodied spirits, and therefore, always are seeking a body through which to operate. When Jesus cast them out of this man at Gadara they dreaded returning to their disembodied state so much that they besought the Lord that they might enter into a herd of swine. These evil spirits would rather live in the bodies of swine than be disembodied. Again, when Satan came to destroy the Lord he needed a body, and he entered into Judas. The Bible tells us, “Then entered Satan into Judas,” and we know furthermore that when Satan makes his last final desperate attempt to destroy the Lord Jesus in the tribulation period, it will again be through a man, the man of sin, the antichrist, the incarnation of the Devil himself. Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

So we believe that angels do have bodies. What kind of bodies we may not know, but they need be neither physical nor spiritual bodies. God is not limited to those things which we poor humans can understand. When we get to glory we shall know. If it is hard to accept this, then let me remind you that it is not easy to imagine either what our resurrection bodies will be like. We are told that at the resurrection we will receive bodies like unto Jesus’ body. That was not a body like ours. He could leave the tomb without breaking the seal; He could be one place now and miles away the next instant; He could walk on the water and not sink; He could eat but did not have to; He could rise straight up into the air into heaven from Mt. Olivet without wings or any other propulsion.

We shall be like Him. How it thrills our hearts as we wait for Him! One of these days we shall hear the shout, drop off these old, weary, aging, pain-wracked bodies like an old garment, and with our new bodies that will never grow hungry or cold, that will never thirst nor suffer, never be weary nor tired, that shall never be subject to passion or sin, we shall rise to meet Him, and all the loved ones with Him. How I do thank God for that soon coming day. My friend, are you ready for that day? If not, then you will never have a redeemed body, but will be raised with your old sin-cursed body, to be cast into the lake of fire forever. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Trust Him now, before it is forever too late.

Dehaan Angels and Demons: Their Nature, Origin, Ministry, and Classification

More Modules about Angels

More Modules about Demons (and Satan)