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What the Bible tells us of angels

Peter released by an angel-painting
Peter released by an angel-painting
LaVista church of Christ

When one speaks of angels, he must be careful and speak correctly, with knowledge of the biblical teachings. Otherwise, the subject is filled with wild imaginations and errors. We need to first determine just what they are.

The word 'angel' has a very simple meaning and it covers a lot of territory. You my have filled the bill as one at some time or another. The word means 'messenger'. Of course, it has been used so much and so long as a celestial being that most people automatically picture in their mind, a winged person, often with a halo, and who is assisting someone in some form of benevolence. But in reality, with the actual meaning of the word, there is almost an endless number of different ones, some who are in God's service and some in Satan's.

It seems however, that almost everyone when they hear the word, consider its referring to an heavenly angel or one of Satan's angels. Therefore it is these which we will endeavor to discuss. Even those which are referred to in the Holy Bible are different. Some have appeared before humans and have been manifested as men.

In the 18th chapter of Genesis, we have an account where three angels appeared to Abraham in the form of ordinary men, but were angels of the Lord. It would be most beneficial for the reader to read this entire chapter which will show clearly this one method of the appearance of angels to men and also show their mission in this one instance. The chapter contains only 33 verses...Click here to read the chapter.

Notice that one of the manifestations was the angel of the Lord. You find this terminology several times and it is simply God, in the form of an angel, and can appear in any form He desires.

One of the most significant and enlightening events is that of Moses and the Lord appearing to him as a flaming bush. This incident is quoted here for the reader's understanding. And notice that in verse two, reference is made to "the angel of the Lord", and yet in verse six, the voice says, "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham..." in the first person point of view:

"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Exodus 3:1-6 KJV [Read chapter])

Let us briefly look at some of the facts concerning angels. First , we can be assured they are created beings although not of a physical nature. these scriptures verify that God created them:

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass." (Psalm 148:1-6 KJV)

"Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee." (Nehemiah 9:6 KJV)

"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:" (Colossians 1:16)

Angels are spirits just as God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Not physical at all since they are immortal and all physical matter is corruptible and will eventually be no more.

"But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:35-36 KJV)

And we know that there or hordes of angels, too many to be counted, read what the Hebrews writer had to say about them:

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels". (Hebrews 12:22 KJV)

There are numerous other references to angels and what they were used for. Our article would become much to lengthy to list them all so we will mention only a few more of importance:

They cared for the Lord while he was on earth:

(1) Angel announced Jesus conception to Joseph in Matthew (1:20-21)

(2) They announced his birth to the shepherds in the field (Luke 2:8-20)

(3) They ministered to and fed him after his 40 days fasting (Matthew 4:11)

(4)They comforted him in the garden before his crucifixion (Luke 22:43)

(5) Released Jesus from the tomb (Matthew 22:1-5)

(6) They were there when he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:8)

(7) The archangel will descend with Jesus at his return (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

(8) Angels are free moral agents and can sin. Will be lost eternally if they do (2 Peter 2:4)

(9) Angels transport the righteous who die, to heaven (Luke 16:22)

(10) Angels are gender neutral, do not marry. We shall be like them. (Mark 12:25)

We can never know all there is to know concerning angels, however, by a detailed and serious study of God's word, we can become familiar with their place in the kingdom of God. By reading the Bible 2 hours per day, a good reader can read from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, the entire King James Bible in 27 days. A moderate to slow reader may take as much as 36-40 days...But, what is that? Say even 4 full months, one can still read it through 3 times in one year. Reading the Bible from cover to cover is not the very best way to study, however, everyone should read it through a few times so there is no chance of some scripture being overlooked. This writer has long since been through it 7 times but I no longer go from start to finish. I now study by subject. With the enormous aids to study we now have online, we are without excuse if we are ignorant of His word. May God bless all who diligently reads His message to us.