Intermediate Edition

I.  Angels


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Chapter 5  Part I


The Bible often mentions angels. The existence and role of these mighty servants of God should be a great encouragement to believers. This is in no small part due to the fact that their work often involves believers, including giving believers supernatural help.

Note that while the great majority of references to angels in the Bible are to God’s holy angels, evil angels are also mentioned. These are commonly identified with demons. In headings in this book, “Angels” primarily refer to angels of God. But bear in mind that some concepts, such as angels being very powerful, are applicable to all angels.

Attributes of Angels

Angels have a human-like form, but are very awesome

[Daniel, describing a vision:] I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen; around his waist was a belt made of gold from Upaz. 6His body resembled yellow jasper, and his face had an appearance like lightning. His eyes were like blazing torches; his arms and feet had the gleam of polished bronze. His voice thundered forth like the sound of a large crowd.   Daniel 10:5-6 NET

This is describing an angel. The reference to the angel as a “man” and the mention of his human-like features (waist, face, eyes, arms and feet) suggest that angels have a human-like form.

Angels are very powerful

He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, …   2 Thessalonians 1:7b GNT

Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it.   Matthew 28:2 NET

The accompanying earthquake is indicative of the angel’s awesome power. The stone was the very large one that had sealed Jesus’ tomb.

Angels can communicate and interact with others

Suddenly an angel came to him [Elijah] and touched him. “Get up and eat,” the angel said. 6Elijah saw near his head a loaf baked over coals and a jar of water, so he ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep. 7Later the Lord’s angel came to him a second time. The angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat. If you don’t, the journey will be too hard for you.”   1 Kings 19:5-7b NCV™

Angels and God

Angels surround God, and even stand in his presence

[John, describing a vision of a scene in heaven:] Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels in a circle around the throne, as well as the living creatures and the elders.   Revelation 5:11a NET

The angel answered him [Zechariah], “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God …   Luke 1:19a NET

Angels worship God and Jesus Christ

[John, describing a vision of a scene in heaven:] The angels who stood around the throne knelt in front of it with their faces to the ground. The elders and the four living creatures knelt there with them. Then they all worshiped God 12and said, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen!”   Revelation 7:11-12 CEV

And when God brings his firstborn Son into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”   Hebrews 1:6 NCV™

Angels serve God and Jesus Christ

Praise the Lord, you angels of his, you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees and obey his orders! 21Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his, you servants of his who carry out his desires!   Psalms 103:20-21 NET

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes sin as well as all lawbreakers.   Matthew 13:41 NET

Angels and God’s People

Angels help and care for God’s people

What are all the angels? They are spirits sent to serve those who are going to receive salvation.   Hebrews 1:14 GW

The Lord’s angel camps around the Lord’s loyal followers and delivers them.   Psalms 34:7 NET

Angels give people messages, including instructions . . .

About three o’clock one afternoon he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God who came in and said to him, “Cornelius.” 4Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius replied, “What is it, Lord?” The angel said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity have gone up as a memorial before God. 5Now send men to Joppa and summon a man named Simon, who is called Peter.   Acts 10:3-5 NET

Note that the Hebrew and Greek words for “angel” carry the meaning “messenger”.

. . . Angels also give messages about future events

[Paul:] For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve came to me 24and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before Caesar, and God has graciously granted you the safety of all who are sailing with you.’   Acts 27:23-24 NET

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, …   Revelation 1:1 ESV

Pray for persecuted Christians