What Was the First Purpose of the Angels? :: By David E. Thompson

Of course God knew what He was going to do with angels in regard to His entire program. However, the first revealed purpose of the angels was apparently the worship of God (Neh. 9:6; Job 38:7; Psalm 148:2; Rev. 5:11-12).

What is the first known contact of a good angel with humans?

The first contact of a good spirit being with humans is a contact made with Abraham in Genesis 18:1-2. One of the persons involved was “the LORD” (18:1, 3, 13) (a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ) and the other two were angels (Gen. 18:22, 19:2). All three appeared to Abraham in human form. It is clear that the Lord spoke with these angels about the Divine plan (Gen. 18:17ff.).

What is the first known contact of an evil angel with humans?

The first known contact of an evil spirit being with a human is a contact made with Eve in Genesis 3:1-6. In this case, the angel was Satan and he appeared in the form of a serpent that could talk.

What will be the final destiny of all evil angels?

The final destiny of all evil angels will be eternal fire as stated in Matthew 25:41.

What will be the final destiny of all good angels?

The final destiny of all good angels is the Throne of God which is in heaven as stated in Revelation 5:11.

What are the two main classifications of angels?

We may biblically observe that there are two main classifications of angel:

Classification #1—Unfallen angels. These are angels who have remained holy throughout their entire existence. These are God’s angels, His host, His ministering spirits, and His holy angels (Psalm 103:20; 104:4; Mark 8:38).

Classification #2—Fallen angels. These are the angels who have not remained holy, but rebelled against God (Jude 6; I2 Peter 2:4).

The terms “unfallen” or “fallen” have nothing to do with the angel’s capability to visit earth; rather, these are terms that describe the angel’s position and relationship with God. Unfallen angels and fallen angels are classifications that have to do with the angel’s moral character as it relates to God. These terms do have application to an angel’s privileged ability to visit the Throne of God. God will not tolerate any rebellious angel at His throne.

When were these two classes of angels formed?

When God initially created angels, He created all of them with His classification of being “very good” (Gen. 1:31) and being “blameless” (Ezek. 28:14-15a). This classification of all angels continued “until unrighteousness was found in ” the angels (Ezek. 28:15b). The primary sin that caused the fall of angels was pride (Isaiah 14:13).

The angels who fell were not content with their God created, exalted state, but proudly desired greater authority and higher rank. This self-exalted proud rebellion was that which determined the classification “ fallen angel.” The specific time of the angelic fall is not known. We do know that this angelic rebellion occurred before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1, Ezek. 28:13).

There are some theologians who believe that the words “formless,” “void” and “darkness” found in Genesis 1:2 indicate that the angels had already fallen and were disrupting the earth. The Bible does not specifically say exactly when they fell. But we do know that very early in the creative process of God, Satan led approximately one third of the angelic host into proud, arrogant, defiant rebellion against God (Rev. 12:4).

Is it possible for an angel to fall today?

Could an unfallen, holy angel sin and rebel against God today and fall? The answer to this question is, no! It must be realized that angels do not procreate, so no angel is the offspring of another angel. Angels were created directly by God and as a result had no sin nature. The angels who fell did not fall from any inherited sin nature, but from a distinct angelic holiness that was directly related to God.

The angels were not tempted by any outward solicitation to evil because the entire environment was filled with the glory of the Holy God. As a result of this, the decision to proudly and inwardly rebel against God was a one-time angelic decision. Once an angel made his decision to submit to God in a perfect environment, this decision was cemented forever.

A key passage that gives us good insight into this matter is Luke 20:36. Here it is explicitly stated that there will come a time when believers will inherit certain angelic characteristics. One of the characteristics is that it is no longer possible for a believer to die. Physical death is a one-time experience for the believer. Now death is a penalty for sin (Rom. 5:12; 6:23).

Once a believer has died and has been raised, he will no longer be subject to death, which means he is no longer capable of sin. He is “like angels,” not capable of dying and not capable of sinning. The angelic principle of honoring God with a one-time decision and thus being in a favorable relationship with God is very biblical, very theological, very practical and applicable.

For example, believing on Jesus Christ is a one-time decision that forever establishes one as a child of God and guarantees everlasting life (John 1:12; 3:14-15). One decision to believe on Jesus Christ puts one in a favorable relationship with God forever. So it was with the angels. One decision to honor God or rebel against God put the angel in a positive or negative state forever.

What is the moral and theological problem that exists as a result of the reality of fallen angels?

The moral problem concerning fallen angels is simply this: How was it possible for an angel of God to fall when angels had no sin nature and no sinful temptations, and were living in a perfect environment at the throne of the Holy God with nothing to tempt them?

For a human, this matter is not so problematic because Adam and Eve had a specific tree that could tempt and test them (Genesis 2:17). But a problem does arise when one realizes that angels were perfectly holy, existing with a perfectly holy God in an environment that offered nothing to tempt them. Dr. Chafer well said, “Evil began with the lapse of an angel.

That lapse was followed by a multitude of other angels (Rev. 12:4). The same lapse was enacted by the first man and transmitted to his race in the form of a depraved nature. Tracing backwards over this historical sequence, it is possible to recognize that the race was injured in the sin of its federal head, that the federal head was tempted by an angel who first sinned in heaven, and that a multitude of angels sinned under the influence of the same original sinner.

Thus far no insuperable problem arises; but it is difficult, indeed, to go one step further and assign a reason why an unfallen, untempted (that is from without), highly enlightened angel, who stood in the immediate presence of God and who must have comprehended the difference between moral light and moral darkness, should have chosen the darkness. How can the birth of moral evil from the womb of moral good be explained?”

“The lapse of an unfallen angel at once gives rise to two important theological questions, namely: (a) How could a holy God permit any creature to sin? And (b) How could an uninfluenced, unfallen angel sin?” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 2, pp. 28, 31). The great moral problem as to the existence of evil stemming from a perfectly created angelic being is one that no finite mind will ever fully resolve. However, there are eleven biblical and theological observations we may make concerning this matter:

1) God is majestically, absolutely and perfectly holy at all times.

2) God is in no way directly or indirectly responsible for angelic or human sin (James 1:13).

3) God did create angels with a real personality with the capability of making choices.

4) God knew about and anticipated, from all eternity, the fall of angels and their influence on the world because His redemptive plan was fully known before the world was ever created (Eph 1:4).

5) Angels, who fell, did not fall as a result of an inherited sin nature like humans, but fell from an exalted position of original angelic holiness given directly to the angel by God . This is one reason why one decision determines an angel’s status forever. Humans have inherited a sin nature, given directly to them by parents, whereas angels had a holy nature given directly to them by God.

6) God could have created angels so they couldn’t fall. He could have created them as robots without any possibility of potential rebellion. However, in order for a creative work of God to be able to meet His quality control standard of a “very good” classification, the angelic being needs to have some type of will (Gen. 1:31).

7) Some angels did not fall, proving angels did have a God given ability not to sin or else all angels would have sinned. There were angels who did not leave their first estate or domain (Jude 6), indicating they did have a choice.

8) Fallen angels are responsible for evil, its development and temptations, which have caused all humans to fall. Humans were created good, but were placed in an environment that offered evil because of fallen agents.

9) God is able to demonstrate His grace to sinful man through the fall (Ephesians 2:7-8).

10) God is able to demonstrate His wrath through the fall (Romans 9:22).

11) God is able to ultimately glorify Himself through the fall (Jude 24-25).

Again we cite Dr. Chafer, “Sin is not in God as it is not in any part of His original creation. The decree of God anticipated all that would ever be; yet sin originates, not in the divine decree, but in the free act of the sinner. Sin is not in the constitution of creatures as they come from the creative hand of God, else He could not predict, as He does, its course and end. Evil must run its course and make its full demonstration that it may be judged, not as a theory, but as a concrete actuality” (Ibid., pp. 31-32).


Pastor David E. Thompson is pastor/teacher at Texas Corners Bible Church in Kalamazoo,  Michigan with a nationally syndicated radio show reaching all across the United States. Pastor Thompson may be classified as a true systematic Bible expositor and communicator of God’s Word.  He carefully expounds books of the Bible in a way that is contextually, exegetically, grammatically, historically, and theologically accurate to the text and relevant to the time. He is also an very skilled in New Testament Greek.