Our holidays are upon us… days of the year that create excitement, anxiety, fatigue, sadness and joy. A time to be with friends and family; a time to give and receive and to be thankful for all our blessings. A time to see the world through the eyes of our healthy, cared-for children, even though we know that not all children in the world are as blessed as ours.
As December gets closer, we go through the malls, look in the windows, shop for our gifts, and we see beautiful, bright decorations…Christmas trees, colorful lights and angels…cute little cherubs and beautiful beings with long flowing robes. Yes, It is a time when our focus all over the Christian world turns to Jesus Christ. The mystery of that spiritual reality and our faith in the truth of the Bible guides us to question and wonder about angels.
In the year 2000, I was teaching a ladies Bible class that wanted to study about angels. These next four months of Webstable Soup will be dedicated to those lessons. You will need your Bible to receive the value of each lesson. I hope you enjoy them.
WHAT ABOUT ANGELS?
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
Yes, I believe in angels. No, I don’t have all the answers to your questions. And no, I am not going to try to convince you to change whatever your understanding of angels might be, except as it may be contradictory to the Scriptures. This is a subject that is “hard to understand,” and the subject of angels is not as clear-cut as some other subjects. But it is a scriptural study, so we must continue to look at this topic through spiritual eyes and through eyes of faith. Each of us should try to put aside the lifetime of outside influences that have shaped our concept of angels — influences governed by religious teachings, opinions, traditions, fantasies, fiction in movies and TV, fads, arts and sculptures, sentimentality, and perhaps some misconceptions. If the Bible does not state an answer clearly, we have no other inspired resource upon which to draw, so a conclusion may not be forthcoming. However, I believe our study will be profitable. These lessons will strive to make us more aware of the spiritual nature of God and his plan for our lives today and throughout eternity.
- What are angels?
- What did they do?
- Where did angels come from?
- How many angels are there?
- What are they like?
- What do they look like?
- What are they called?
- How do angels fit into the scheme of things for Christians?
- Does each of us have a “guardian” angel?
- Are angels on earth today?
- Were we angels before we were born?
- Do we become angels when we die?
- What about angel “sightings?”
- Who were the “fallen” angels?
- What about Satan?
Before we try to answer these questions, let’s look at the influence that humans have had on our perception of angels.
Angels are portrayed in uninspired art, music, literature, history, theology and mythology as usually female, or babies, with wings and a halo.
Some common ways we use the word “angel” in our vocabulary are, “She is just an angel,” “guardian angel,” “angel in my pocket, or angel on my shoulder.”
Having done that, let’s look at God’s inspired Word for some answers to our questions. There are over 300 verses in the Bible that make reference to angels.
1. What are angels?
The English word for angel, angelos, is derived from the Greek word for messenger. In the strictest definition of the word in a non-religious sense, a Western Union delivery person is an angel. The mail person is an angel. A preacher is an angel. In the Bible, it was not who or what they were, but what they did.
2. What did they do?
They were employed by God to complete an assignment, deliver a message, make an announcement, stand guard over something specific, minister to the righteous, or execute the wicked. Gen. 3:24; Ex. 23:20-23; Judg. 13; 2 Kings 19:35; Ps. 35:5, 6; Dan. 6:22; Luke 1:11-20; Matt. 1:20, 21; Matt. 2:13; Matt. 4:11; John 5:4; Luke 22:43; Matt. 28:2-6; Acts 1:11; Matt. 25:31; Matt. 13:39-42; Acts 5:19; Acts 10:3-6; Acts 12:7-10; Acts 12:23; Acts 27:23.
They were/are assembled around the throne of God, worshipping and praising God, singing and shouting with joy over righteous victory. You could say that God has his own cheering section! Job 38:7; Luke 15:7, 10; Luke 12:8-9.
3. Where did angels come from?
God created them, through Jesus, before the creation of the world. Job 38:4-7; Ps. 148:5; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17.
4. How many angels are there?
Countless. Deut. 33:2; Matt. 26:53; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11.
5. What are they like?
They are not sexual beings, neither male nor female; they do not marry or give in marriage, they are innumerable, immortal, mighty, obedient, disciplined, intelligent but limited, wise, happy, have knowledge of and interest in earthly affairs. 2 Sam. 14:17-20; Ps. 103:20; Matt: 22:30; Mark 12:25; Matt. 24:36; 2 Thes. 1:7b; 2 Pet. 2:11; Rev. 18:21; 1 Cor. 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 2 Pet 2:10b-11.
6. Are angels on earth today?
Heb. 1:7; Heb. 13:2. (Gen. 8:1-8; James 2:25)
LESSON TWO NEXT MONTH. STAY TUNED.
What About Angels? – Sandra Mackey, Copyright © 2000