Monday, December 03, 2007

Answers on Angels

What is the meaning of the name, “Angel”? The word “angel” means “messenger.” The closest definition of angels that we get in Scripture is that they are all “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14).

How do we know that angels really exist? Angels are mentioned in 34 books of the Bible. They are mentioned by every New Testament author. In fact, angles are mentioned a total of 273 times in Scripture (108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament).

Where did angels come from? Like humans, angels are created beings (Colossians 1:15-17; Psalm 148:2, 5; Ephesians 3:9). The creation of the angels took place prior to the creation of the earth since the angels sang at the creation of the earth (Job 38:1, 4, 7). As a result of their being created beings, angels should never be worshipped (Romans 1:24-25)

What are angels like? Angels are invisible spirit beings (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 1:14; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:18). They do not ordinarily have physical bodies but they can take on physical form when they need to (Daniel 6:22; 10:6; Matthew 28:3; Genesis 32:1-2; Revelation 10:1). The reason for their invisibility is to keep mankind from worshipping them (Revelation 19:10; 22:9). Whether in physical or spiritual form, angels have superhuman mobility. Angels possess separate and individual personalities meaning that no two of them are alike. Angels are stronger (Psalm 103:20), smarter (Daniel 9:21) and swifter (Revelation 14:6) than men. Yet, they are inferior to God in that they are not omnipresent (Daniel 10:12), omnipotent (Daniel 10:13) or omniscient (Matthew 24:26).

Do angels wear wings and halos? At least some of the angels are described with wings (Isaiah 6:2; Ezekiel 1:5-8) but no place in Scripture are angels seen with halos.

How many angels are there? The Scripture states that angels are innumerable. A hint of their huge number can be seen in Mark 5:9 where Satan could afford to give over 6,000 of his fallen angels to torment one poor lunatic. Thousands of angels are mentioned in Psalm 68:17. Twelve legions (72,000) of angels are mentioned in Matthew 26:53. An innumerable company of angels are mentioned in Hebrews 12:22 and Revelation 5:11. There are the same number of angels today as when first created due to the fact that angels can not reproduce (Matthew 22:30). We never read in Scripture of God creating more angels

What do angels do? Angels praise God (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4:11). Angels serve God as His messengers. Angels also serve mankind. They are involved in answering prayers (Acts 12:5-10). They observe the events of mankind (1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Timothy 5:21). They also encourage mankind (Acts 27:23-24).

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