One Up on the Angles
Vernon M. Herron
Dr. Gregory L. Wallace, Pastor
Ebenezer Baptist Church
New Brunswick, NJ
The study of angelology is interesting and fascinating. Early on, I learned that angels were simultaneously created as fiery ministering servants of God; in
existence since the foundation of the world was laid; that they do not marry nor live a family life with children; that they are innumerable, invisible, invincible, immortal, sexless, ageless and are intrigued by salvation.
Even though initially, I will briefly mention a bit about the nature, rank, attributes, and appearances of angels, my focus is on the “upper hand” of the redeemed over angels. Scofield Reference Bible gives the following description on angels:
A Summary of Angels
Angel, “messenger” is used of God, of men and of an order of created spiritual beings whose chief attributes are strength and wisdom (2 Sam. 14:20). The word “angel” is used of men in Lk 7:24. Sometimes, angel is used of the spirit of man (Matt. 18:10). Though angels are spirits (Ps.104:4), they were not created as, nor made as sinners; power is given to them to become visible in the semblance of human form (Gen. 19:1). The word is always used in the masculine gender (Matt. 26:53); their power is inconceivable (2Ki. 35); their place is about the throne of God (Rev. 5:11); their relation to the believer is that of “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,” and this ministry has reference to the physical safety and well-being of believers (I Ki. 19:5).
Angels observe us (I Corin.4:9) and they receive departing saints (Lk. 16: 22). Man is made a “little lower than angels,” and they are to accompany Christ in His second advent (Matt. 25:31).
An archangel Michael is mentioned as having a particular relation to Israel and to the resurrection (Dan. 10:13) The only other angel whose name is revealed is Gabriel who was employed as the most distinguished service (Dan. 8:16).
In 1924, Johnson Ottman Jr. and John Sweeny produced a hymn entitled,” ‘Holy, Holy’ Is What the Angels Sing.” Read the four standards and chorus of this great declarative hymn and note, with explanation how the redeemed have the “upper hand” over angles. Shall I sing it for you? Oh, no!
‘Holy, Holy’ Is What the Angels Sing
Johnson Ottman, Jr.
There is singing up in heaven such as we have never known.
Where the angels sing the praises of the Lamb upon the throne.
Their sweet harps are ever tuneful, and their voices always clear,
Oh, that we might be like them while we serve the Master here!
Holy, Holy, is what the angels sing,
And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring.
But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings
For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings
But I hear another anthem, blending voices clear and strong,
“Unto Him who hath redeemed us and hath bought us” is the song;
We have come through tribulation to this land so fair and bright,
In the fountain freely flowing He hath our garments white.
Then the angels stand and listen, for they cannot join the song.
Like the sounds of many waters,, by that happy, blood-washed throng.
For they sang about great trials, battles fought and vict’ries won
And they praise their great Redeemer, who hath said to them, “well done”
So, although I’m not an angel, yet I know that over there
I will join a blessed chorus that angels cannot share.
I will sing about my savior, who upon dark Calvary
Freely pardoned my transgression, died to set a sinner free.
Since man is made a “little lower than angels” (Ps. 8:5), it is ironic that the redeemed have an upper hand over angels. There are differences in status, experience and message.
The Differences According To Hymn
In heaven (over there), angels constantly sing the praises of The Lamb (Christ/God) sitting upon the throne. They sing songs of adoration like “Holy, Holy, Holy” and hymns of victories fought and won.
Will sing about the joy of redemption, (which the angels cannot do), a savior who died at Calvary, pardoned sin and set men free with garments made white with blood.
When the redeemed sing the redemption story, angels will stand, listens and fold their wings, for they never felt the joy that salvation brings.
The redeemed have one up on the angels.