What The Bible Says About Worship Of Angels
The primary contact point in the New Testament is the condemnation of the worship of angels in Colossians: Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind
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.
Biblical Definition Of Hell
Hell is the place where those who reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ will experience the wrath and justice of God for all of eternity. Theologian Wayne Grudem defined Hell as a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked. It is mentioned many times throughout the scriptures. 17th Century Puritan, Christopher Love stated that,
Hell is a place of torment, ordained by God for Devils and reprobate sinners, wherein by His justice He confines them to everlasting punishment tormenting them both in Body and Soul, being deprived of Gods favor, objects of His wrath, under which they must lie to all eternity.
Hell is a Christian belief and teaching that many would like to avoid or forget altogether. It is a harsh and terrifying truth that awaits those who will not respond to the Gospel. Theologian R.C Sproul writes, There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ himself. J.I. Packer also writes, New Testament teaching about hell is meant to appall us and strike us dumb with horror, assuring us that, as heaven will be better than we could dream, so hell will be worse than we can conceive. Now a question may be asked, what do the Scriptures teach about hell?
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Different Types Of Angels In The Bible
We are told of a few specific types of angels that form a hierarchal structure. These are the Thrones, Powers, Rulers and Authorities. There are Archangels, Cherubim, Seraphim also. We do not know whether they are one and the same or are different categories.
34. Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
What Are The Different Types Of Angels
There are a few different types of angels mentioned in Scripture: cherubim, seraphim, and archangels. The most commonly depicted angels model the cherubim with their two wings. Seraphim look a little more like something you would see in a Sci-Fi film. When Archangels might terrify you if you saw one, due to their warrior-like appearance and responsibilities. Jason Soroski of Bible Study Tools explains, The six-winged angels that appear to Isaiah are described as Seraphim. The two-winged angels atop the Ark of the Covenant are described as Cherubim. The Bible also lists Archangels, such as Michael, who are thought to be superior to the others and angelic leaders.
As far as Who is the Angel of the Lord, Soroski also shares Many believe this to be Christ himself acting in the Old Testament, and there is indeed merit to that argument. This angel appears to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace , to Gideon , and Abraham .
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Angels Are Usually Unseen
Although some people see angels when they appear to them, most people sense their presence. Most of the time people dont see angels unless God opens their spiritual eyes.
And Elisha prayed, Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see. Then the Lord opened the servants eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
We Dont Know When Angels Were Created
Genesis 2:1 tells us that the angels were made at some point before the seventh day of creation: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them .
Exodus 20:11 is even more explicit: In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. We can at least confirm that all the angels were created by the sixth day of creation.
But can we be any more specific? There may be a hint at the creation of angelic beings on the first day of creation, when we read that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth , immediately followed by, the earth was without form and void . Theres no mention of the heavens in this second verse. This may be intended to contrast the emptiness of the earth is with the heavens, where God already created angelic beings. This idea could be supported by Job, where we read that the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy when God laid the cornerstone of the earth and sunk its bases . If the angels shouted for joy when God was forming the earth, this could imply that God created the angelic beings early on the first day. However, this is only speculation.
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Are There Different Ranks Among Angels
Yes. The angel greatest in both power and authority is Michael, the archangel. Seraphs are high-ranking angels who are stationed near Jehovahs throne. Cherubs form another high-ranking order of angels having special duties. For example, cherubs guarded the entrance to the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were expelled.Genesis 3:23, 24.
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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Angels Fight Against Demons
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not neither was their place found any more in heaven.
The Bible tells us that Gods angels fight against Satans angels, the demons. Here are a few examples:
- The being identified as the prince of the Persian kingdom fought the angel Gabriel for 21 days until the archangel Michael arrived to help him .
- Michael also fought the devil for Mosess body .
- Michael will lead Gods angels in the final battle against Satan and his demons .
Role #: Angels Are Warriors
While the idea of angels ministering to our needs is deeply comforting, the thought of angels as supernatural warriors might be downright concerningunless you study it carefully. Our modern military protects the nation from invasion and is comprised of specialists who work together to strategically outwit aggressors. It is similar with angels.
Throughout Scripture, we find story after story of Gods people emerging victoriously from physical and spiritual battles as they face insurmountable odds. It was angelic visitors who ushered Lot out of Sodom before destroying it . It was angelic guards who went ahead of the Israelites, protecting them as they departed Egypt and entered Canaan . It was the Angel of the Lord who killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in 2 Kings 19. And when our risen Lord rides into the Battle of Armageddon, He will be followed by armies of angels .
Psalm 34:7 summarizes it this way, The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. I dont know about you, but Im sure glad we have these warriors on our side!
And on the story goes. In case Jacob has any doubts as to the mastermind behind this selective breeding program, Scripture tells us the Angel of God appeared in Jacobs dreams and confirmed Gods role . Gods people do not have to worry about outcomes they must only worry about obedience to Gods plans.As provisioners, angels equip Gods people for victory.
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The Council Of Angels
The Bible mentions the heavenly council of angels in Psalm 89:7, revealing that “In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared he is more awesome than all who surround him.” In Daniel 7:9, the Bible describes thrones angels on the council specifically “…thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.”
Fact #: Angels Are Not Fully Understood
Because angels are spirit beings who inhabit a world weve not yet seen, we must choose to be comfortable with what we do not know about them. Scripture mentions them over three hundred times, so we are meant to know something about them. We are wise to study our Bibles as we seek a healthy understanding of angels. However, they should not consume our thoughts, and we should not envy others who may have dramatic encounters with them.
When I had cancer some years back, it would have been comforting to witness an angel watching over me or holding my hand as I was wheeled in to surgery. That never happened, and Im a pastor!
If God never chooses to reveal angels manifest presence to you or to me, it does not mean that we are inferior Christians.
It simply means that it would not suit His purposes. In His sovereignty, God reveals angels to us selectively and strategically.
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Why Does The Bible Say So Little About Angels
The Bible mentions angels over 300 times, so why do we still know so little about them? We know that there are millions upon millions of angels, yet we only know three of their names Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer the fallen angel. We dont know exactly how many there are or how they interact.
Their mystery is quite purposeful. It is so we do not worship angels and that Jesus is the focus. They are mighty, glorious beings and we would be tempted to worship them if we became too knowledgable. But they are loyal to the true king, Jesus Christ, and remain behind the scenes, carrying out his plans.
It is good to know truths about Gods messengers, but it is better to know and follow the savior.
And the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true words of God. Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Are Angels Still Active Today
We see angels are still active in the book of Acts, after Jesus resurrection. They are still active in the prophesies yet to be fulfilled. So yes, angels are still at work today.
In fact, the writer of Hebrews says, Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Not only do angels still serve those who shall inherit salvation, it is even possible that we could encounter one!
In fact many people today have had experiences of help from a stranger who suddenly vanishes. Have you had one one these experiences yourself? Id love for you to tell me in the comments.
This war will not continue forever. Satan has a time limit and we are getting closer every day. Jesus will return with his most powerful angels and defeat him forever!
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Angels Intervene For The Saints
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Following Gods orders, angels not only deliver messages to His people but also intervene for them. Here are some examples:
- One single angel struck down the entire army of Assyria and delivered Gods people from them .
- An angel of God shut the lions mouths and kept them from hurting the prophet Daniel .
- An angel opened the prison doors and took the apostle Peter and the others out .
What Do Angels Do
Angels praise God .
They worship God .
They rejoice in what God does .
They serve God .
They appear before God .
They are instruments of Gods judgments .
They carry out war against demonic forces .
They bring answers to prayer .
They aid in winning people to Christ .
They observe Christian order, work, and suffering .
They encourage in times of danger .
They care for the righteous at the time of death .
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
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Fact #: Angels Are Not Necessary
Because angels have limitations, they are not essential. Now, bear with me as I explain this one. When we consider that God is sovereign above all thingsall circumstances, all people, all powers, all forces, all processesit becomes apparent that He does not need angels. In the same way He was perfectly complete before the creation of man, God was perfectly complete before the creation of angels. After all, there is nothing He cannot do.
So, why would He create them?
The simplest answer is because it pleased Him to create them. Revelation 4:11 states, You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things, and they exist and were created . Other passages, particularly those weve studied in Revelation, make it clear that angels devote themselves to bringing Him glory and praise, which is part of their purpose. Yet, a final look at Hebrews 1:14 may give us the clearest picture of Almighty Gods purpose in creating angels. Angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.
Has this investigation into the supernatural world of angels challenged your thinking in some way? I hope so, and I hope youll join me for part two in this series when we look at the counterparts of Gods angelsthe dark world of demonsand their impact on humanity.
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