Posted by: missionventureministries | August 1, 2019

A BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF ANGELS – Job 38:4-7

First, the Bible tells us that angels existed before God created anything in the universe, as we learn from the conversation He had with Job. “Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off how big it should be? Surely you know! What were the earth’s foundations set on? Or who put its cornerstone in place? Who did all this while the morning stars sang together? Who did this while the angels shouted with joy?” (Job 38:4-7) 

Second, we need to realize that the number of angels is unfathomable and the apostle John gives us a glimpse of their multitude in Revelation 5:11 as he looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand; and the book of Hebrews talks about “innumerable myriads” meaning incalculable numbers, Hebrews 12:22. 

God created angels for many purposes, including guiding, protecting and encouraging us. The angels are God’s servants, sent by Him into the world to serve His will. However one of the most important roles of angels is to praise and glorify God. 

Luke 2:13-14 tells us that, 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.” 

Revelation 4:8 says, “Day and night they never stop saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’” 

In Revelation 5:11-12 we read, “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand…In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 

And in Revelation 7:11-12 we see where, All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,  saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”

Angels are created spirit beings (Nehemiah 9:6 and Hebrews 1:14); yet, the Bible clearly teaches that they can take on human form and appear to people. In the Old Testament there are recorded appearances of angels to Abraham, Hagar, Lot, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, Daniel, and many others. The New Testament opens with a whole series of angelic appearances related to the birth of the Messiah. After the death of Jesus, angels appeared at His tomb and at His ascension. Peter, John, Phillip, and Paul all had angelic encounters in their ministries.

When angels take on human form, they appear like any normal person (Genesis 18:1-2 and Genesis 19:1-2), and when they manifest themselves in their spirit form, they tend to appear shining as bright as lightning and their clothes are white as snow (Matthew 28:1-4).

In their biblical appearances angels always manifest themselves as men. There is no mention of them having wings. The idea that angels have wings is rooted in the Bible’s description of some special angelic beings called Seraphim and Cherubim who reside in the throne room of God in Heaven. Seraphim are described as having six wings in Isaiah 6:2, and Cherubim are depicted with four wings in Ezekiel 1:5-6.

Angels do not marry or procreate as is stated in Matthew 22:30 and Luke 20:36 tell us that they do not age nor are they subject to death.

While all the angels were in the beginning created holy and without sin, and Satan was originally one of God’s most glorious angels, “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12); his heart became proud because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28:17), and his pride motivated him to try to take the throne of God (Isaiah 14:12-14). Due to his rebellion, he was cast out of Heaven, down to earth, and one third of the angels were cast out with him because they joined in his rebellion (Revelation 12:4).

The Bible does not tell us when this revolt took place, but it was most likely after the end of the creation week because at the end of that week God pronounced all of His creation to be “good” (Genesis 1:31).

God works through angels, however it is God who makes the decision to direct an angel to do His request, not an angel’s decision to act independent from God, therefore:

Angels carry out God’s judgment. With their God-given power, they carry out anything God sends them to do. In the book of Revelation we find them as vital agents in pouring out the awful judgments of the Tribulation, and even in doing battle with Satan and his evil angels to restrict them from any access to heaven, confining them to the realm of this earth in anticipation of Satan’s captivity and final defeat as described in Revelation 12 and 20.

They were sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:12-15). An angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night to prevent them from attacking Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35). Psalm 78:49 speaks of a “band of destroying angels” that was sent to torment the Jews in the wilderness when they rebelled against God. The New Testament makes it clear that God will execute His end time judgments on the nations through angels (Matthew 13:49-50 and Jude 14-15).

Angels will separate the wheat from the tares (the saved from the lost) at the final judgment, as Matthew 13:38-42 tells us: “…The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil…”

Angels protect God’s people. Psalm 91:11-12 states, “He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” In Matthew 18:10 Christ made a statement regarding little children when He said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven;” which is a likely reference to a guardian angel.

We also see the Angel of the Lord protecting the three Hebrews in the furnace (Daniel chapter 3), and watching over Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel chapter 6).

Angels provide. They were sent by God to provide sustenance for the Lord at the end of his forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11); and an angel provided bread and water for Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-6).

Angels rescue believers. In Acts 5:19, the angel rescues Peter and John from prison and in Acts 12:3–19 we read that Peter was put into prison by King Herod, but the night before his trial an angel appeared to him, and told him to leave. Peter’s chains fell off, and he followed the angel out of prison, thinking it was a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the Iron Gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

Angels counsel and comfort. We see the angel comforting Hagar after she ran away from Sarai. “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.  Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”  The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” (Genesis 16:7-10)

Angles have their purpose in the kingdom of our Father; however, when carefully studying about angels we find a very serious warning in the last book and chapter of the Bible. John writes “It is I, John, who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t! I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brothers the prophets and of those who keep the message of this book. Worship God! (Revelation 22:8-9).

Angels are powerful and awesome in many ways, but, like us, they are only creatures and servants of the living God who alone deserves our worship.

We need to remember that the church at Colossae had been invaded by false teachers who were teaching a false humility and the worship of angels, claiming special mystic insights by way of visions in connection with their worship of angels; therefore, the Bible says: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind” (Colossians 2:18). This was demonic because it was usurping the preeminent place and sufficiency of Christ as Savior and Lord. The claim was, Jesus Christ is not enough for salvation and spirituality; what you need is to worship angels. This is extremely dangerous so beware because Lucifer the once most glorious angel “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” now prowls like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

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