Angels: God’s Special Ministers
A. Angels have been the subject of a host of News Magazines, Tabloids and even T.V. shows today. At every shop and mall you go to someone is trying to sell the ever so hot angels. You can find them on postcards, shirts, bumper stickers, and calendars. If there is one thing that is sure, it is that we are in the middle of “angel-mania”.
B. Time Magazine conducted a poll among American adults on the subject of angels and found these results:
o 69% confirmed their belief in the existence of Angels.
o 46% said they believe in a personal guardian angel.
o 32% claimed they have felt an angelic presence at some time in their lives.
C. In this lesson we hope to examine the major teaching of the Bible on the subject of Angels so that we may be biblically correct.
I. The Definition of “Angel” in Hebrew and Greek.
A. Angel- an order of supernatural or heavenly beings whose business it is to act as God's messengers to men, and as agents who carry out His will. (ISBE)
B. The Hebrew and Greek word have dual meanings.
1. The Hebrew word (malakh) used for angel can really mean “angel” or “messenger” depending upon the context (see 1 Kings 19:2; Ps. 104:4).
2. The Greek word (angelos) can also mean “angel” or “messenger” depending upon the context (see Lk. 7:24, Rev. 2 & 3).
C. Also, men themselves have been called angels in the Bible:
1. Haggai- (Hag. 1:13).
2. John the Immerser (Mal. 3:1).
II. Angelic Appearance.
A. The religious word makes angels out to have wings, a harp and a halo at all times. But is this really what angels look like?
B. What would a biblical angel look like?
· At times, they cannot be distinguished from men (Gen. 18:2, 16).
· Some, but not all, do have wings (Dan. 9:21, Rev. 14:6, Seraphim, and Cherubim).
· They are very awesome creatures to behold (Isa. 6, Ezek 1).
· They are often clothed in white and shine.
III. The Nature of Angels
A. Angels are created beings (Col. 1:16, Ps. 148:2,5).
B. Angels are immortal beings (Lk. 20:36).
C. Angels are superior to man (Heb. 2:9, 2 Pet. 2:11 Ps. 8:4-6).
D. Angels are spirit beings (Heb. 1:14, Heb. 1:7).
E. Angels have limited knowledge of divine plan (Matt. 24:36).
F. Angels do not marry or procreate (Mk. 12:25).
G. Angels do have a free moral agency/will (Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4).
H. Angels worship God by nature (Heb. 1:6, Rev. 4 & 5).
I. They are not to be worshipped (Col. 2:18, Rev. 19:10).
J. They have knowledge and interest in earthly and spiritual matters (Lk. 15:10, 1 Pet. 1:12).
IV. Angelic Functions
A. Guardian & Protector
· They guard the way to the tree of life (Gen. 3:34).
· They guarded the Son of Man (Ps. 91:11).
· They protected the prophets (Dan. 6, Lion’s mouth).
· They transported the 10 commandments to Moses (Gal. 3:19, Acts 7:53).
· They transported revelation to the prophets (Dan. 8-10, Zech. 1:9-11, Rev. 1:1.
· Announced births:
o Samson (Judg. 13).
o John (Lk. 1:11ff).
o Jesus (Matt. 1:20-21).
· Escape announced (Matt. 2:13).
D. Comforter & Strengthener
1. After Christ temptation (Matt. 4:11).
2. In the garden (Lk. 22:43).
E. Special Ministers to Christ.
1. At the tomb (Matt. 28:2ff).
2. At the Ascension (Acts 1:8).
3. At the 2nd coming (Matt. 25:31, 1 Thes. 4:16ff).
4. At the judgment (Matt. 13:49).
F. Destroyers (Gen. 19:13, 2 Kings 19:35).
G. Praise Jehovah (Ps. 103:21, Rev. 4-5).
H. Transporters of the righteous (Lk. 16:22).
V. Common Myths About Angels
A. All Angels have wings (only slight references to any other angels having wings except cherubim and seraphim in Dan. 9:21 and Rev. 14:6, and then that could be taken figurative).
B. We will become angels (not taught at all in the Bible, 1 Cor. 15:51ff).
C. Angels talk to us today (Heb. 1:1ff, 2 Pet. 3:1, Gal. 1:6-9).
D. We all have a special guardian angel (Heb. 1:14, Matt.18:10???).
E. We might possibly entertain angels (Heb. 13:2—Abraham and Sarah only).
VI. Miscellaneous Facts About Angels
A. Angels will be judged by the saints (1 Cor. 6:3).
B. Sadducees and many today did not believe in angels (Acts 23:8).
C. Satan has his angels (Matt. 25:41).
D. Angels will be lost eternally (2 Pet. 2:4).
E. Bible is more valid than any angel (Gal. 1:6-9).