The three most widely discussed angels in the Bible are Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer. Some well-known passages describing them are as follows:
“Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia…yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.” (Dan. 10:20-21)
“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise.” (Dan. 12:1)
“But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9)
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Rev. 12: 7-9)
“And it came about when I, Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man. And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, “Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.” (Dan. 8:15-16)
“While I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. And he gave me instruction and talked with me…” (Dan. 9:21-22)
“And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I have been sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.” (Lk. 1:19)
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Hail favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Lk. 1:26-28)
“Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol; maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you, and worms are your covering. How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.” (Is. 14:11-15)
“You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering; the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings (tambourines) and sockets (flutes), was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have become terrified, and you will be no more.” (Ez. 28:12-19)
As these various passages of Scripture are compared, a picture of a heavenly war comes into focus. While the Ezekiel passage above does not specifically name Lucifer as its subject, most Biblical scholars believe that it is referring to Lucifer, or the devil. By comparing these verses it becomes evident that the “covering cherub (angel)” Lucifer became lifted up in pride because of his beauty and determined to ascend not only above the other angelic hosts, but even God Himself.
He was not strong enough to succeed in this plot and God, along with the rest of His angels overcame Lucifer and those that followed him, bringing their sedition to an unpleasant end. Most Christian theologians believe that these are the same beings as satan and the demonic spirits, who one day will be completely destroyed in the “lake of fire”. (Rev. 20:10-15)
The three distinctive angels in the Bible: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer (prior to his falling) are uniquely identifiable in their respective heavenly roles, paralleling other Trinity patterns that have been discussed.
Study of God’s Word
It is evident that Michael is the angel of war. This correlates to the authority of God the Father, as well as the sovereign choice in the human will, and the yielding attitude in prayer of “not my will, but Yours be done.” (Lk. 22:42)
Gabriel is seen as the messenger angel. This correlates to the enlightenment of the Word (or Jesus) (Jn. 1:1), the mind of man’s soul, and the study of the Scriptures in Christian activity.
Lucifer is seen as a beautiful, musical, highly visible ‘angel of light’. This correlates to the beauty of God’s Spirit, the emotions of man’s soul, and the participation of worship in Christian activity.
There is a distinct priority in the Trinity of God Himself outlined by Jesus. (See Trinity Patterns- God) This is defined as Father, then Son, then Holy Spirit. For the Spirit to exalt himself above the Son or the Father would be incongruent with God’s design of priority and balance.
The same is true for the soul of man. For the emotions to dominate the mind and the will, the individual becomes unstable and susceptible to all kinds of life-failures.
In Christian activity, whether it is individual or corporate, there should also be a priority and ‘balance’ (or possibly a better word, ‘ratio’). To exalt the activity of emotional worship above prayer and the study of God’s Word, the individual or congregation will equally become unstable.
Those who are involved in the ministry of worship may choose to become focused on emotionalism, exalting music and the arts over a solid Biblical foundation, finding themselves in the midst of life’s difficulties with no power to overcome them. Their neglect of Biblical study and teaching at the expense of emotional experiences leaves them spiritually weakened.
That is not to say, however, that worship is without great importance. Churches or individuals who lean too heavily to study and teaching, abandoning the release of authentic and passionate worship, find themselves uninspired, irrelevant and lacking the ‘voice’ to connect to their surrounding culture through evangelistic outreach.
The proper relationship between the concepts of the Study of the Word together with Worship yields the best fruit. Notice that Prayer stands between the Word and the Spirit. It is the combination of one’s knowledge of Scripture, together with the ‘improvisation’ of the Spirit.
Regarding this discussion of the Angels, for an individual or assembly to exalt worship or emotionalism above the study of the Scriptures, sound thoughts, prayer and an attitude of submission to God’s will, is ultimately motivated by a Luciferian pattern. It is the same insubordination, inspired by an incongruent and seditious spirit.
I want to caution those in the worship arts ministries, as well as many worship-loving Christians to consider the importance of a proper understanding of this subject to ensure longevity of ministry and success in living a prosperous spiritual life.
I believe the greatest expression of the emotions and worship through music and the arts is when it is in proper relationship to the Trinity patterns discussed above.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me…” (Jn. 16:13)
Those involved in Christian worship, music and the arts would do well to consider the role of the Holy Spirit: 1) To point to the Truth (the Word), 2) To not be self-willed, but God-inspired, and 3) To glorify God (not self).
Anything less is of a Luciferian pattern.