Angels - A Bible Study
by Linda Stover
Probably the most intriguing Scripture reference to angels from a human perspective is the one that says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2). Wow! Doesn't that make you stop to think about how you treat people? Another fascinating Scripture that causes me to pause in my daily helter-skelter activities and give thanks is found in Psalm 91:11-12 "For He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."
Friends, there are angels among us! Sometimes we see them and do not even realize it! At other times, we sense their presence. We just know they are there helping us, guiding us, watching over us. Then there are times when we think we desperately need them and they seem to be somewhere else! However, if we believe the Bible (and I certainly do!), we must believe that the angels are always there - the righteous angels doing what God tells them to do; the fallen angels working under the direction of Satan.
Good Vs. Bad - How to Know the DifferenceAll angels were created as holy angels, but about a third of them rebelled against God and fell from their sinless position (Revelation 12:9). Satan, the leader of the "bad" or fallen angels, is a liar, a murderer, and a thief. (John 10:10) He hates God and - - NEWS FLASH! He passionately hates God's people. The Bible tells us that he prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We need to remember that Satan and all the demons are supernaturally brilliant, and Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Masquerading as a holy angel, Satan and his demons are behind the current angel craze in our culture. Under the covert operation of the master deciever, America is experiencing a wave of angel-mania!
We must always be aware of the two kinds of angelic activity in the world: good and evil. Be very careful of the books you read or the seminars you attend. While there are a number of wonderful Christian books available, there are numerous publications filled with demonic deception of the ugliest kind! The Scriptures tell us to try (i.e. test) the spirits to see if they are from God. How do we know if they have "passed" the test? There are at least four criteria to identify God's angels:
- A spirit from God always acknowledges that Jesus is the Christ who came to the world to die for our sin and redeem us from Satan's bondage (1 John 4:1-6). An angel of God will always glorify God. Holy angels do not draw attention to themselves. They work quietly, most often behind the scenes, then when the work is done, they leave.
- An angel of God will not accept worship, but will tell you to worship God (Rev. 2:18; 19:10; 22:9). Some "angel experts" instruct their followers to love their angels and call upon them for health, healing, prosperity, and guidance. God's angels, however, are His servants, and all this attention and emphasis and glory should go to God, not His servants. God says, "I will not share my glory with another" (Isaiah 42:8). Scripture makes no mention of loving angels. However, it does tell us to love God and His word. It also tells us to love each other. Never angels! And it never tells us to pray to angels, only to the Lord Himself.
- An angel of God does not come when we recite a mantra, or formula, but at the command of God (Exodus 3:2; Luke 1:11, 19; 26; Hebrews 1:13,14). There are many books available with instructions on how to contact your angel. But the Bible gives neither permission nor precedent for contacting angels. God's angels do not answer when you call to them! They respond to the command of God. The angelic demonstration you will receive are from demons, disguising themselves as Gods angels to people who don't know how to tell the difference. My mother has always used the terminology that she "calls on the angels" to go before her, be behind her, beside her and underneath her as she travels. However, if you listen to her "calling them", she always says, "Father I thank you for the angels you have sent before me . . . ." She is not speaking to the angels. She speaks to God who sends the angels.
- And finally, an angel from God will not give you instruction or guidance that deviates from what God has already said in His Word (Galatians 1:8). When an angel begins to tell you things that change God's Word, you know you are not speaking with a holy angel from God but a demon from hell. Satan misquoted the Scripture to Jesus. He is still disguising himself as an "angel of light" to deceive people (2 Cor. 11:14).
In Matthew 26:53 Jesus said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than 12 legions of angels?" (a legion is between 4000 and 6000, which means at least 72,000 angels.) My question is to you is: If Jesus found it necessary to pray the Father for angels to come to his aid, why do some people believe they can command the angels directly? Remember, when you start talking to angels, you end up dealing with demons.
Why do people find it so easy to believe in angels? Time's 1993 cover story on Angels, entitled "Angels Among Us," explains: "For those who choke too easily on God and His rules, theologians observe, angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, non-judgmental. And they are available to everyone, like aspirin."
To understand the differences in angelic beings, look around you. God likes variety, it seems. Everything He created is different in some way. Even the angels. Sometimes they have wings, sometimes they are like fire. From reading many Scripture references, it appears that angels are not confined to any specific form or shape, but assume various forms and appearances according to the nature of the work they are required to perform and the will of God. In many instances they behave and act just like we do. They sit, stand, look like women, look like men, talk, eat and sing. In other instances, the Bible describes them as being spirits, wind and fire. Take a look at the descriptive information in the Bible.
What do Angels look like, and how do they act?
- They sit down: Judges 6:11 And there came an angel of the Lord and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah.
They stand: Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims (Angelic creatures)
They look like women and have wind in their wings: Zechariah 5:9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and behold there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings, for they had wings like the wings of a stork...
They look like men; and eat: Genesis 18:2 And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo three men stood by him.
They are spirits: Psalms 104:4; Hebrews 1:7 Who maketh his angels spirits
They are like fire: Psalms 104:4 His ministers a flaming fire
What do Angels do?By definition, the word, angel is: Aggelos: messenger, to bring a message, announce, proclaim. From this definition and the Scriptures that talk of them, we can get an idea of their work on earth on behalf of mankind. From the following Biblical references we find they do a variety of things: Rescue, Guard, Keep, Protect, Bring us messages from God, Fight our Battles, Carry out God's Desires.
- They Serve Us: Hebrews 1:13-14 "But to what angel has He ever said, 'Sit at my right hand, till I make they enemies a stool for they feet'? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"
- They Feed Us: 1st Kings 19:5 "And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat." I will never forget the time when we were out of food and God sent us a fifty pound bag of potatoes. (Why I Believe in Angels)
They Deliver Us: Acts 5:17-21 "But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, 'Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.' And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and taught."
They Give us Warning of Impending Danger: Genesis 19:15 "When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."
They Guard and Protect Us: Psalm 91:11-12 "For He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."
Psalm 34:7 "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them"
They Go Ahead to Prepare our Way: Exodus 33:2 "And I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites."
They Deliver God's Message: Luke 1:11 "And the angel answered him, 'I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you , and to bring you this good news."
They Direct Us: Acts 8:26-29. "But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is a desert road. And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join this chariot.'"
They Will be Instrumental in the Last Day Judgement of God: Matthew 13:41-42 "The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth."
Does each person have a guardian Angel?Matthew 18:10 "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven."
It seems here that Jesus Christ himself is saying that every person has a guardian angel and that these angels always have access to God.
Do Good People Become Angels When They Die?We see it happen that way on television and at the movies. However, as entertaining and interesting as it is, it is nothing more than a fantasy. A human being is always a human being. An angel is always an angel. The Scripture tells us about man:
Psalms 8:5 "For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and has crowned him with glory and honor."
As long as we are on earth we are not as good or righteous as the holy angels. We still sin and go against the will of God. Angels, however, work directly for and with God, so they are "higher" than we are. However, notice that we are still crowned with glory and honor. Why else would Jesus have died on the cross for us?
Do angels know everything?Matthew 24:36 (Jesus is talking about the rapture) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
There is nothing written in Scripture that indicates angels are omniscient. On the contrary, they know only what is revealed to them by God - and wonder of wonders - by observing God's working in and through His people! (See Ephesians 3:9,10)
How many angels are there?Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
Revelation 5:11, NIV "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand."
A Final WordGo to any search machine and you will find many "angel" sites listed on the internet. Please be very careful when visiting these places. Remember your adversary. He is lying in wait to deceive you. Once you are deceived he has an open door into your life. His goal is to steal, kill, destroy. You may think the study of angels is a harmless pursuit. It can be extremely dangerous, so please be very careful. Pray to God, the Father, in Jesus' name. Ask His direction. Ask His protection. And if you want His angels to surround you, talk to Him about it. Remember this: when you start to talk to angels, you may very well be talking to demons in disguise.
In the end, the final destiny of Satan and his evil angels is eternal fire. Matthew 25:41, NIV. "Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." It would be his great pleasure to take you there with him. Don't allow it to happen! Believe in Jesus, the Christ, today. Accept Him as your Savior. Trust Him to surround you with his holy angels as you live for Him day by day.
Copyright© 2004 by http://ibelieveinangels.com and Linda Stover Van Fleet, all rights reserved.