subordination to God, the proper object of worship. Sunday School Times, Mch. 15, 1902:46 ? ?Angels are spoken of as greater in power and might than man, but that could be said of many a lower animal, or even of whirlwind and fire. Angels are never spoken of as a superior order of spiritual beings. We are to ?judge angels? ( <460603>1 Corinthians 6:3), and inferiors are not to judge superiors.?
Angels are an order of intelligences older than man is. The Fathers made the creation of angels simultaneous with the original calling into being of the elements, perhaps basing their Opinion on the apocryphal Ecclesiasticus, 18:1 ? ?he that liveth eternally created all things together.? In <183807>Job 38:7 the Hebrews parallelism makes ?morning stars = ?sons of God,? so that angels are spoken of as present at certain stages of God?s creative work. The mention of ?the serpent? in <010301>Genesis 3:1 implies the fall of Satan before the fall of man. We may infer that the creation of angels took place before the creation of man ? the lower before the higher. In <010201>Genesis 2:1 ? ?all the host of them,? which God had created, may be intended to include angels. Man was the crowning work of creation, created after angels were created. Mason, Faith of the Gospel, 81 ? ?Angels were perhaps created before the material heavens and earth ? a spiritual substratum in which the material things were planted, a preparatory creation to receive what was to follow. In the vision of Jacob they ascend first and descend after; their natural place is in the world below.?
The constant representation of angels as personal beings in Scripture cannot be explained as a personification of abstract good and evil, in accommodation to Jewish superstitions, without wresting many narrative passages from their obvious sense. Implying on the part of Christ either dissimulation or ignorance as to an important point of doctrine and surrendering belief in the inspiration of the Old Testament from which these Jewish views of angelic beings were derived.
Jesus accommodated himself to the popular belief in respect at least to ?Abraham?s bosom? ( <421622>Luke 16:22) and he confessed ignorance with regard to the time of the end ( <411332>Mark 13:32); see Rush Rhees, Life of Jesus of Nazareth, 245-248. But in the former case his hearers probably understood him to speak figuratively and rhetorically, while in the latter case there was no teaching of the false but only limitation of knowledge with regard to the true. Our Lord did not hesitate to contradict Pharisaic belief in the efficacy of ceremonies and Sadducean denial of resurrection and future life. The doctrine of angels had even stronger hold upon the
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