Forward by Bob Garrison:
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Heb 13:2
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” Heb 1:14
Dedicated to the many who have encouraged me.
And especially to my wife, Sylvia, a Godly woman for Christ, who has supported my struggle with spiritual living.
This Study of Angels began in 1974 as a Bible class outline. It has been revised several times, the latest in May 1999. I claim original content for personal emphasis and conclusions provoking interest.
With appreciation for materials and format from:
A tract on Angels by Charles Hodge,
The New Bible Dictionary, Great Britian, J.D. Douglas, editor; Commentaries by Charles Ellicott, F.C. Cook, and Matthew Henry; Studies of Angels by Alexander Campbell in the Millennial Harbinger.
With deep appreciation to the Holy Spirit for revealing the presence, ministry and work of angels who carry out the Providence of God.
“Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible (R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission”.
Any portion may be used to the Glory of God
Rev 1999 Mesa, Arizona
Lesson 1: The Dispelling of Myths About Angels
1 Timothy 4:7- 8
- We are told to exercise self discipline
- Great profitability of looking into Godly/ Spiritual things as opposed to the bodily disciplines
- Holds the promise for this life
- And eternal life
- A proper approach
- Objectivity is required (fair, detached, impersonal, unbiased & unprejudiced)
- Exercise is essential (mind, spirit, prayer and Biblical/secular writer study)
- Romans 10:17 (exercise of these functions develops faith)
- Luke 17:5 ( Jesus taught lessons for the mind and spirit — thus increasing faith)
- Now let's explode some myths and examine what angels are not.
- Myth. "Nothing can be known"
- Nothing possible? — or —-
- Nothing desired? (Until 1960/1970, most secular books on angels were written before 1900's)
- Told more about angels in Bible than about demons
- Angels mentioned in 34 of 66 books (51%)
- Mentioned mostly in OT??? — No —- Mentioned in 17 books of each Testament. (46% of OT books) (63% of NT books)
- Can we understand the role of angels? (accept baptism w/o fully understanding it. Why not angels when more is explained?)
- Is it important to study angels for our spiritual well being?
- "Heaven's mailmen (God's personal delivery service – often overnight service)
- Myth. "Angels are for OT study, but have no role in our lives since we have the NT".
- Many Christians unsure what to do with the OT
- Gal 3:24-25 (OT Law was a tutor or schoolmaster to bring us to Christ through faith by exercising those functions of unbiased study)
- Col 2:14 (many conclude when OT was nailed to cross, God fired the angels, boxed the Holy Spirit up in a book and changed his messenger service only through men)
- 2 Peter 1:20-21 Essentially this verse and Gal 3:24 imply numerous references to OT in NT
- As a testimony
- As a golden thread to weave the whole picture of salvation together
- Angels are specifically mentioned 108 times in the OT (37% of the times mentioned)
- Angels are specifically mentioned 186 times in the NT (63% of the times mentioned)
- Myth. "Angels ceased their activities when the Word was finally delivered"
2 Tim 3:16-17 is their proof text (if we're adequate for everything, why do we need angels?)
- The first question is what is missing from this position? The answer is God may need angels.
- Acts 23:6-9 Be on guard not to deny Spiritual powers too hastily
- Matt 18:10 and Heb 1:14
- These verses demand that a profound belief in angels is an indispensable ingredient to our faith in God and His Son. We will return to these verses time and again over the next weeks of this study.
- Myth. "Some angels are female"
- This theory makes great fiction and sells a lot of curios and trinkets, but it is false.
- Only names associated with angels are:
- Angels only appear as men Gen 18:2 and Mark 16:5 as examples Scripture never depicts angels as females.
- Angels are sexless. Matt 22:29-32 & Luke 20:35-37
- Myth. Didn't angels marry women in Gen 6?
- Marriage implies procreation.
- Procreation implies survival.
- No half-breed children.
- Heb 1:5 strongly implies God does not call "angels" sons of God.
- Myth. Do angels have wings, harps and halos? Ex 25:20
- Seraphim have 6 wings. Isa 6:1-6
- (The responsibility of seraphim — to show reverence to God)
- Also note they were participants in the worship
- As indicated in Ex 25:20 Cherubim have wings (also see Ezek esp. chap 1 & 10)
- Gen 3:24 (The responsibility of cherubim in Eden— to prevent eternal life.)
- 2 Sam 22:11 & Psa 18:10 (Implied — cherubim were a celestial vehicle.)
- Egyptian/Mesopotamian writers made prolific references to Cherubim
- Contrary to popular belief, Angels are not depicted with wings or harps.
- no angelic choir nor singing.
- 1Cor:13 Speak with the tongues of angels, but no angelic musical ensemble)
- While halos are never mentioned, angels do seem to emit a glowing radiance described as white, snow or bright in their association with their surroundings.
- Seraphim have 6 wings. Isa 6:1-6
- Myth. "Angels are without bodies".
- Angels are spirit in nature. But without bodies cannot be concluded.
- God and Christ are said to have "form". Phil 2:5-7, 3:20-21; Heb 1:1-3; Col 2:8-9
- 1 Cor 15:40-42 speaks of Terrestrial and Celestial bodies in the resurrection.(If we are to be like the angels in Heaven, we must conclude angels have bodies)
- Angels are not fog
- Myth. "Angels are dead saints in heaven".
- Sometimes said at funerals.
- Saints can and do die.
- Lazarus was still Lazarus after being raised from the dead. (Jn 11:12)
- 1 Cor 15:49-53 and 1 Thess 5 teach Christ's return and bodily resurrection of saints.
- The Bible teaches that in the "resurrection" "we will be changed" — BUT NOT REINCARNATED..
- Myth. "Angels are to be worshipped"
- Some religions teach worship of patron saints.
- Bible condemns worship of angels. Col 2:18
- Bible teaches men will EXCHANGE the truth of God and SERVE one who is created. Rom 1:24-25 (God created all things, through Christ … Col 1:16)
- 10 commandments condemned worship of angels specifically and by the rule of exception. Ex 20:3-5 "God alone is to be worshipped".
- Peter condemned it. Acts 10:25-26
- The angels themselves condemned it. Rev 19:10, 22:8-9
- Myth. "Angels are without personal feelings".
- Not robots
- They are curious 1Pet 1:10-12
- They rejoice Lk 15:10
- And we must ask ourselves, "have we ever once worried about, cried over or prayed for an angel"? YET THEY HAVE THIS MUCH CARE FOR MAN.
- Even more impressively, since Biblically, they do not have a savior when some of them fall, they could resent our having one!!!