Q. I’m very interested in the work of Angels in the Bible. Do you have any information about Angels at your website? Can you give me a brief overview of what the Bible teaches about angels?
There are hundreds of references to angels in the Bible.
Lets start here, Angels are spiritual beings created by God.
16* For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.
6* “You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You.
2* Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
3* Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!
4* Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!
5* Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
Angels were present at the time of Creation:
4* ¶ “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,
5* Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?
6* “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,
7* When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
We also know that it is impossible to number the Angels:
22* But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
The Greek word for “myriads” indicates 1) ten thousand
2) an innumerable multitude, an unlimited number.
53* “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
1) a legion, a body of soldiers whose number differed at different times, and in the time of Augustus seems to have consisted of 6826 men (i.e. 6100 foot soldiers, and 726 horsemen) (this would equal 81,912 angels in Jesus’ statement)
ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE THERE SEEMS TO BE TWO MAIN PURPOSES FOR THE EXISTENCE OF ANGELS.
To serve and give glory to God:
11* Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
11* And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12* saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
And secondly to serve God’s people
13* But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”?
14* Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
Throughout the Scriptures Angels appear in human form to serve God’s purposes and to deliver his messages.
11* ¶ Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.
12* The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”
9* And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10* But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11* for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Acts. 12:7-8 & 11
7* And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands.
8* And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he *said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
11* When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
40* “He said to me, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house;
22* “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.”
Gabriel was sent to Zacharias:
19* The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Gabriel was sent to Mary
26* ¶ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
27* to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28* And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
29* But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.
30* The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.
31* “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
These passages illustrate that Angels are often sent by God to deliver His messages to His people.
52* “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;
53* you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
1* ¶ For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
2* For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,
3* how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
Angels have also been sent by God to provide for physical needs: i.e. Elijah
1 Kings 19:5
5* He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.”
6* Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.
7* The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
8* So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
God used angels to provide for Israel
20* ¶ “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
21* “Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him.
22* “But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
23* “For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them.
24* “You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces.
25* “But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.
To rescue Lot in Genesis 19:10-16
To encourage the apostle Paul
21* ¶ When they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss.
22* “Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23* “For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me,
24* saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’
25* “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.
26* “But we must run aground on a certain island.”
Angels are powerful and are used to fight great battles
2 Kings 19:35
35* ¶ Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.
Angels have been used to open doors of opportunity to preach the gospel:
26* ¶ But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.)
27* So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship,
28* and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.
Angles usher the redeemed into the presence of God at the time of physical death. In the historical account of the Rich man and Lazarus
22* “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
Angels will be coming with Christ at the greatest event in the future of the history of man at the second coming.
1 Thess. 4:16-18
16* For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17* Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
18* Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Angels will be used on the day of judgment
36* Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37* And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
38* and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
39* and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
40* “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
41* “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
42* and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Angels will be present at judgment:
31* ¶ “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
32* “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
33* and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34* “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Angels are God’s servants to help us reach our eternal home. We may not be able to see them, but these passages are enough for us to be able to SEE clearly that God uses them to accomplish HIS purposes in this world. The are ministering spirits.
The apostle Paul felt strongly the presence of angels when he said:
I Tim. 5:21
21* I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.
Peter tells us something interesting in 1 Pet. 1
1 Pet. 1:10-12
10* ¶ As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
11* seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
12* It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.
And the apostle Paul adds:
8* To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
9* and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
10* so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
11* This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
12* in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.