Revelation Concerning the Angels of Christian Angelology
Ludwig Ott

§ 27. The Nature of the Angels

3. Understanding, will and power of the Angels

s spiritual essences, the Angels possess understanding and free will. The intellect and will of the Angels is, on account of the pure spirituality of their nature, more perfect than those of men, but on account of the finiteness of their nature, infinitely more imperfect than the Knowledge and Will of God. The Angels do not know the secrets of God [1 Cor. 2:11], do not possess a knowledge of the heart [3 Kings 8:39] and have no certain foreknowledge of the free actions of the future [Is. 46:9 and seq.]: "But that day and hour [of the judgment] no one knoweth." [Matt. 24:36; Mk. 13:32] Also their wills are mutable.

The mode of cognition of the Angels is, corresponding to their purely spiritual nature, purely spiritual. They gain spiritual concepts not like man by abstractions from sensory perception, but receive them on their creation simultaneously with the natural power of cognition as a communication from God. Cf, S, the. I 55:2. The natural cognition of God possessed by the Angels is a mediately-won knowledge from the contemplation of the perfections of creatures, especially their own perfections. Cf. S. Th. I 56:3.

Freedom of the will is a presupposition of the fall, through sin, of the bad Angels and of their eternal rejection. 2 Peter 2:4: "God spared not the Angels that sinned."

As the Angels in their nature are superior to all other creatures, they also possess a higher perfection of power than other creatures. According to 2 Peter 2:11, the Angels are superior in strength and power to men. However, the Angels do not posses the power of creation and the power of working miracles in the strict sense. These powers belong to God alone.