Angels, An Overview.

Bible Study Guide/ Doctrines/ An Introduction to Angelology: (The doctrine of Angels) Part 1/ 76-001 (Hebrews 1:14)/ Key Text: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13–14, NKJV)

Opening Remarks: (Illustration) — “I accept the existence of angels as an element of the mysterious reality of God’s plenitude. Obviously, with angelic choirs the creation must be a more complex, diverse, and manifold reality than one might want to imagine. Angels are a sign that God’s goodness must be excessively fruitful; it overflows in creative energy. Infinite varieties of beings can be sustained and flourish in this good and bountiful system.” [Sidney Callahan in Commonweal (Dec. 1, 1995). Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 2].

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

[1] Why should we do a theological study on angels: (Angelology)? Because it is a biblical subject, with far more references in scripture than many people suppose. Secondly, it is an edifying subject, far more thrilling than is often imagined.

[2] How many time does the word angel appears in the Bible? 186 times in the New Testament and over 100 times in the Old Testament.

[3] On many occasions beings appear which are in fact ‘angels,’ but the word ‘angel’ is not actually used, for example:

  • A ‘man’ (Genesis 32:24; Joshua 5:13).
  • ‘Powers’ (Colossians 1:16).
  • Cherubim (Genesis 3:24).
  • Seraphim (Isaiah 6:2).
  • Chariots of fire’ (2 Kings 6:17).

[4] What is an Angel? “A spiritual being, primarily a messenger (Heb. malʾāḵ; Gk. ángelos) for God (e.g., Gen. 16:7, 9; Exod. 3:2; Num. 22:22–35). Other designations include “sons of God” (Job 1:6; Ps. 29:1), “holy ones” (e.g., Ps. 89:7; Dan. 8:13, and “watchers” (Dan. 4:13, 17, 23 [MT 10, 14, 20]). Sometimes “heavenly hosts” or “hosts of heaven” also refer to angels (1 Kgs. 22:19 = 2 Chr. 18:18; Ps. 148:2; Neh. 9:6). Heb. malʾā is also used for human prophets (2 Chr. 36:15–16; Isa. 44:26; Hag. 1:13), priests (Mal. 2:7), and the winds (Ps. 104:4); Gk. ángelos may also refer to human messengers (Luke 9:52; Mark 1:2).” [Edward P. Myers, Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible, 2000, 63].

[5] What is the meaning of the word “Angels.” Loosely speaking, “angels” means messengers.

  • The word ‘angels’ from Gr. aggeloi, literally means “messengers,” this could be celestial or human. “Aggeloi is applied to human beings in Matt. 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:24, 27; 9:52; cf. 2 Cor. 12:7. It has been suggested that the “angels” of the seven churches are their respective elders, or overseers, in John’s time, and that the Lord was addressing the messages to them for transmission to their respective congregations.” (SDA BC 7:741)
  • For Further Study –Angels as reference to the pastors of churches (Read Rev. 1:20; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; Angels as reference to human messengers (Read Lk. 7:24; James 2:25).
  • In Rev. 14:6-12, angels are seen “flying in the midst of heaven” proclaiming the Three Angels’ Messages. This of course is symbolic of “the saints” who give this message, for it has not been given unto angels to go and preach the gospel, but unto men this commission has been given. Although the angels take a great interest in the affairs of salvation as ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14) to them has not been given this responsibility.
  • Several times, even Jesus Christ is called an angel, “the Angel of Jehovah,” (Gen. 16:7; 22:11; Judges 6:12; 2 Kgs.19:35), etc. — (We will see this later in the series)
  • But strictly speaking “angels” have reference to a distinct order of beings created by God to be His servants. They are ministering spirits (1 Kin 19:5; Ps 68:17; 104:4; Luke 16:22; Acts 12:7–11; 27:23; Heb 1:7, 14)

[6] What is the personality of Angels? According to the Bible, angels not only exist but they also exist as persons, as beings having intellect, sensibility, and will. All the attributes of personality are ascribed to angels.

[7] Whom did Angels appeared to in the Old Testament?

  • Abraham (Gen. 18:2–15)
  • Hagar (Gen. 16:7–14)
  • Lot (Gen. 19:1–22)
  • Jacob (Gen. 28:10–12)
  • Moses (Ex. 3:1, 2)
  • Balaam (Num. 22:31–35)
  • Joshua (Josh. 5:13–15)
  • All Israel (Judg. 2:1–4)
  • Gideon (Judg. 6:11–24)
  • Manoah (Judg. 13:6–21)
  • David (2 Sam. 24:16, 17)
  • Elijah (1 Kin. 19:2–8)
  • Daniel (Dan. 6:21, 22)
  • Zechariah (Zech. 2:3)

[8] What about their appearances in the New Testament?

  • Zacharias (Luke 1:11–20
  • The virgin Mary (Luke 1:26–38)
  • Joseph (Matt. 1:20–25)
  • Shepherds (Luke 2:8–15)
  • Certain women (Matt. 28:1–7)
  • Mary Magdalene (John 20:11–13)
  • The apostles (Acts 1:10-11)
  • Peter (Acts 5:19-20)
  • Philip (Acts 8:26)
  • Cornelius (Acts 10:3–32)
  • Paul (Acts 27:23, 24)
  • John (Rev. 1:1)
  • Seven churches (Rev. 1:20)

[9] Identify other ministry of angels on special occasions?

  • At the world’s creation (Job 38:7)
  • Sinai (Acts 7:38, 53)
  • Satan’s binding (Rev. 20:1–3)
  • Christ’s return (Matt. 13:41, 49; 1 Thess. 4:16)

NOTE: We will look at the ministry of Angels toward Believers, Unbelievers, and Jesus Christ at a later time.

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: Beloved, Angels know, desire and delight in the gospel of Christ — “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16, NKJV) “To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:12, NKJV)

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: What makes an Angel Smile? [1] In Creation’s Morning: “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7, AMP)

[2] At Christ’s First Coming: “Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest (heaven), and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased (men of goodwill, of His favor).” (Luke 2:13–14, AMP)

[3] When a Sinner is converted: “Even so, I tell you, there is joy among and in the presence of the angels of God over one (especially) wicked person who repents (changes his mind for the better, heartily amending his ways, with abhorrence of his past sins).” (Luke 15:10, AMP)

MEDITATION HYMN: “That’s When The Angels Rejoice! by “Gaither Vocal Band”

At the completion of the Golden Gate,

No, the angels did not celebrate

And when the Wright boys flew their bird

No angelic shouts were heard.

There’s only one thing that we’re sure about

That’s gonna make those angels jump and shout:

It’s when a sinner makes the Lord his choice,

That’s when the angels rejoice!

Now, when the light bulb first lit up the town,

No, the angels did not dance around

And when the man stepped on the moon

They didn’t sing a victory tune.

There’s only one thing that we’re sure about

That’s gonna make those Angels jump and shout:

It’s when a sinner makes the Lord his choice,

That’s when the angels rejoice!

Now, Heaven doesn’t strike up the band

For any old occasion at hand,

It’s gotta be a special thing

To make those Angels sing.

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do? Thanksgiving to God for giving us His holy Angels to watch over us.

Angels have charge over the children of God (Ps 34:7; 91:11- 12). They protect us, they provide for us, but most importantly they desire that we be saved and go to heaven to be with our Creator. You know they are up there, thus, they know what heaven is like. Listen to this quote: “The Lord has given to every man his work, and the holy angels want us to be doing that work. As you shall watch and pray and work, they stand ready to co-operate with you.” (Testimonies for the Church, 6:481).

Have a Blessed Day: “For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11–12, AMP)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Doctrines/ An Introduction to Angelology: (The doctrine of angels) Lesson # 1