Role #: Angels Are Messengers
Our English word angel translates as the Hebrew word malak in the Old Testament and the Greek word angelos in the New. The core meaning of both those words is messenger. Thats the essence of who and what angels are. They are couriers for Someone other than themselves. Theyre Someone elses ambassadors, Someone elses agents. They represent only Him and never themselves. They are channels to carry only His information. They speak and act according to His instructions, and they bear His authority.
As messengers, angels communicate Gods law to mankind . They are holy beings who have always obeyed God perfectly. In fact, they probably understand Gods law for mankind better than any biblical scholar ever has. It was the Angel of the Lord who spoke to Moses through a burning bush in Exodus 3:2, and it was an angel of the Lord who proclaimed the coming of the promised Messiah in the New Testament.
Throughout human history, angels have been involved with communicating Gods most important messages to His people.
Angels Are Not To Be Worshipped
Worship of angels was one of the false doctrines being taught at Colossae . In the book of Revelation, an angel warns John not to worship him: You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God .
We shouldnt pray to angels, either. God is able to answer prayer. Paul warns us against thinking that any other mediator can come between us and God, for there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus . If we were to pray to angels, it would implicitly give them a status equal to God. There are no examples in Scripture of anyone praying to an angel or asking angels for help.
Moreover, Scripture gives us no warrant to seek appearances of angels. They manifest themselves unsought. To seek such appearances would seem to indicate an unhealthy curiosity or a desire for some kind of spectacular event rather than a love for God and devotion to him and his work. Though angels did appear to people at various times in Scripture, the people apparently never sought those appearances. Our role is rather to talk to the Lord, who is himself the commander of all angelic forces. However, it would not seem wrong to ask God to fulfill his promise in Psalm 91:11 to send angels to protect us in times of need.
Angels In Other Missions
So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The Bible tells us of other assignments that angels have received from the Lord, such as:
- Cherubims were placed at the East of the Garden of Eden, along with a flaming sword, to protect the way to the tree of life .
- An angel brought food to Elijah .
- God sends angels to patrol the whole earth .
- An angel strengthened Jesus while He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest .
- An angel rolled back the stone placed at the door of Jesuss tomb .
- Angels were present at Jesuss empty tomb .
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Archangels In Other Ancient Texts
We need to make a certain distinction before we dive into this section.
Jude 1:9 seems to indicate only one archangel exists, but Daniel 10:13 labels Michael as one of the chief princes. For now, we can assume only one archangel exists to the best of our knowledge. Nevertheless, this section will explore other ancient texts and names they have ascribed to archangels.
Readers, keep in mind this article is concluding Scripture as the 66 books in the Protestant Bible. Those from a Catholic background may consider books listing these angels as canon.
– Raphael: A passage in Tobit 12:15-22 indicates seven archangels exist, including Raphael, who appears to Tobit and Tobias and encourages them to sing praises to God.
– Gabriel: As mentioned above, Scripture does not give him the label of archangel, but we can mention he makes an appearance to Daniel and to Mary the Mother of Jesus, each time proclaiming news that will affect the future of the Israelite nation.
– Jophiel: From Jewish and Kabalistic lore, she is linked often with beauty and positivity. No Scripture or extracanonical text seems to mention her by name.
– Ariel/Uriel: Although some people have attributed Uriel to several events that happen in the Bible , an extra-canonical book known as 2 Esdras mentions him . Uriel presents three impossible riddles to show us how humans cannot fathom the ways of God.
– Chamuel: Again, never mentioned by name in any text, Chamuel is associated with bringing peace.
How Many Angels Are There
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands
The Bible doesnt mention how many angels exist, but several references suggest it is a very large number .
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Angels Act In Obedience To Gods Commands
God sends His angels with instructions on what He wants them to do on the earth. They are His messengers who come to earth to deliver His messages. When you speak Gods word into a situation in your life, angels come to establish Gods will on earth.
Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
To live victorious Christian lives, we need Gods help and direction. He sends His angels to watch over us and ensure that we remain on the right path at all times. They keep us away from danger even when we dont see it coming. God has given us the best help we could ever have.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Do Angels Have Individual Names And Personalities
Angels have distinct personalities. They can communicate with one another. They have thinking ability and are able to compose expressions of praise to God. And they have the freedom to choose between right and wrong, as seen when some of them sinned by joining Satan the Devil in his rebellion against God.Matthew 25:41 2 Peter 2:4.
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Attribute #: Angels Are Spirit Beings
Angels are spirit beings who are often invisible, but their presence may be made manifest in human form, in dreams and visions, in their natural state, or audibly without a visible form.
To illustrate this point, its helpful to contrast Daniels angel encounter in Daniel 9 with his experience in Daniel 10. When Gabriel appears in Daniel 9:21, he is described as a man. Daniel goes on to have a pleasant conversation with Gabriel, and there is no indication that Daniel is at all intimidated by Gabriels presence. Its as if two peers are discussing the politics of the day, albeit one has profound prophetic insight.
Then, flipping forward to chapter 10, Daniel encounters an unnamed angel, trembles in his presence, and describes him in a way that is completely unlike any human. Here is his description:
So, angels appear as humans and in their natural state. They have also been known to appear in visions. Genesis 28 and 31 record prophetic dreams the Lord gave to Jacob in which he saw angels.
In the New Testament, Marys husband, Joseph, repeatedly encountered angels who instructed him regarding Mary and Jesus while he was dreaming. It doesnt particularly matter whether these angels appeared in human or angelic form Jacob and Joseph clearly recognized them as angels.
Regardless of how angels may appear, the important point to remember is this: their presence is revealed selectively and strategically.
Spirits of Wind, Fire, and Stars
Are angels made of stardust?
The 5 Incredible Types Of Angels In The Bible
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In this article we will look at the 5 types of Angels in the Bible. We will be digging deep into the Word and discovering who these heavenly messengers are. So, grab your Bible and lets learn about Gods angels.
Angels are one of those fun topics. I love learning about Gods messengers and how they function in the spirit realm. I have created a selection of articles on angels. All of them can be found here ANGELOLOGY. Here are some of the posts you can discover there
I also believe in understanding how angels operate is important for Christians. Too many times we think angels are just going around about the earth watching people and protecting them. And in some cases yes they are protecting, but thats only a small part of what they can and will do.
Lets build a little foundation before we start!
Simply stated angels are messengers of God.
We also need to realize that angels are so much more than our personal bodyguards . They act as Gods agents on the Earth.
- They guide us Exodus 23:20
- They do the will of God and help us accomplish Gods will Psalm 103:19-22
- Encourage and minister to us Hebrews 1:14, Judges 6
- Send a message from God to us Luke 1:13
- And much more!
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What Do Cheribum Seraphim And Other Angels Look Like
In addition to the verses that talk about angels appearing as humans, we can glean from all of Scripture that they have an otherworldly appearance.
One that strikes fear into us. We probably cannot come up with an adequate description for them, since human words do not suffice on supernatural matters.
This does not nearly cover the breadth of angels, or even touches on the nature and appearance of fallen angels. After all, we have several ranks of angels. A cherub will look far different than an archangel. And an angel will look far different than a demon.
But because Scripture offers some bizarre imagery for these beings, we cannot definitely know what one looks like unless we see one ourselves. And something tells me that would be a horrifying experience.
Although we don’t have descriptions of every angel, here is a brief overview at what some of them look like.
Cheribum: These creatures have four faces, and are described in Ezekiel 1:15-16 as such: “As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel.”
Seraphim: An angelic being with six wings, two covering the eyes because they cannot stare at God’s holiness directly.
Do Angels Have Free Will
There was a time when angels had free will. Let me take you back to the Lucifer story for a moment. When Lucifer attempted to ascend to Gods throne and was thrown out of heaven he brought with him one-third of all of heavens angels . Prior to the point of rebellion, angels had free will. It was up to them to choose. Either continue to follow the true and living God or align with Lucifer in his attempted coup. At that point, two-thirds of heaven’s angels made the right choice and the rest foolishly followed Lucifer. That moment of decision sealed the allegiance of each angel and sealed their eventual eternal destination. Whether they realized it or not at that moment, they were making an eternal decision. Those who followed God made a choice that led to eternal life. Those who followed Lucifer made a choice that will eventually lead to their eternal punishment. This was the last moment of free will angels had. They got to choose whose side they would be on but from that point forward the decision of each angel was set thus locking in the consequence of their choice.
When you study what the Bible really tells us about angels you will see that angels have been engaged in the affairs of man from the beginning. At the appropriate times and moments, they have moved in and out of the lives of men to accomplish the will of God. The Bible even tells us that you may have encountered an angel without knowing it.
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How Do Demons React To God
Demons shudder in fear knowing they will be tortured at the appointed time . When Jesus walked the earth, demons knew who He was , shouting, You are the Son of God! Jesus rebuked them, commanding them to be silent, as He cast them out of the people they were tormenting . The legion of demons possessing a man fell down before Jesus, begging Him not to send them to the abyss . Even in their rebellion, demons recognize Gods authority over them.
Important Angels In The Bible
The archangel Michael appears in Revelation 12:7-8, and is described as a commander of heavenly armies, who defeats Satan once and for all. There is no doubt that Michael is a fierce warrior, and that his angelic armies are at work in our world today.
Gabriel appears in several places the Bible and, most importantly is the angel who brings news of the coming births of John the Baptist and of Jesus .
3. The Announcement of Christs Birth
These angels appear to shepherds in one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture, Luke 2:8-14:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
The significance is that one angel is suddenly joined by many, all proclaiming the good news of salvation. Again, they appear frightening to the shepherds, yet assure them that there is nothing to fear.
4.The Invisible Angelic Armies
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How Does The Bible Describe Angels
Angels are invisible unless God chooses to make them visible. Specific angels appeared throughout mankinds history, because they are immortalnot having physical, aging bodies. The angelic host is too numerous to count and while they are not all-powerful like God, angels do excel in strength.
They can exercise their own will, and in times past, some angels did choose to pridefully rebel against God and pursue their own agendalater becoming mankinds greatest enemy, however an innumerable number of angels stayed faithful and obedient to God, worshiping Him and ministering to the saints.
Although angels can be present with us and hear us, they are not God. They have some limitations. They must never be worshipped or prayed to because they are subject to Christ. Randy Alcorn wrote in Heaven, There is no biblical basis for trying to make contact with angels now. Although angels are apparently intelligent and wise, Alcorn says, Were to ask God, not angels, for wisdom .
Still, given that angels have been with believers throughout their lives, they have observed and know us. They have witnessed many of the blessed and crisis events in our lives. Wont it be wonderful to someday hear their stories about what was going on behind the scenes?
Are There Guardian Angels
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 18:10 is often quoted by people who believe in guardian angels, that is, that a specific angel is assigned to each person to guard them throughout their whole life. There is no doubt that God sends angels to protect His children, as mentioned earlier in this article, but there isnt a clear text that affirms that sort of specific lifetime assignment.
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How Are Angels Active In Believers Lives
The truth is, if were thinking in terms of guardian angels, were selling the ministry of angels short. Were limited in our understanding of what they do for Gods children and in service to the Lord.
Christians are most familiar with the idea of angels guarding and protecting us. But thats not all they do! Angels also can deliver, guide, enlighten or reveal information, provide for believers, serve as instruments of Gods judgments, carry out some of Gods answers to our prayers, encourage, strengthen, serve, and help Gods children at their time of death, carrying them to heaven. That last one intrigues me. Because Satan is the ruler of the power of the air, theologically I can picture angels being enlisted to protect us as we pass from this world into our heavenly home.
When I first studied how angels interact with believers, all I could say was, Wow! Thank you, Father, for these powerful gifts to help Your people! Angels definitely are influential in believers livesin my life!
Angels are remarkable, marvelous, but its important to keep a proper perspective about them. Dr. David Jeremiah wrote: Angels are sent, but the messenger is never more important than the sender. Our focus must be on Christ who created and purposed these wondrous creatures.