In this study, we discuss the nature of angels. Some topics covered include: angels vs demons, can angels have sex, can angels sin, are angels immortal, and are there female angels.
- Job 1:13-15
- Matthew 11:9-10
- Luke 7:24
- Rev 12:7-9
- Rev 8:4
- Hebrews 12:22-23
- Colossians 1:15-16
- Gen 2:1-2
- Hebrews 1:14
- 1 Cor 6:2-3
- Zechariah 5:5-11
- Col 2:18
- Rev 19:9-10
- Rev 22:8-9
- Matthew 4:8-10
- 2 Kings 19:35
- Matthew 22:30
- Gen 6:1-4
- Job 1:6-7
- Luke 20:34-36
- Psalms 82:5-7
- Gen 18 and 19
- Psalms 103:20-21
- Gen 18:1-2
- Genesis 18:8
- Genesis 19:1-3
- Hebrews 13:1-2
Angels and Testimonies
I’ve heard it said regarding angels and testimonies…
- Angels are jealous of humans because we have a testimony and they don’t.
- The angels are jealous of us for one reason only; they are not able to suffer for God. Only through suffering can a souls say with certainty; "My God, You see I do love You!"
- St. Padre Pio
- The only testimony angels have is what they do to help God’s people.
Today we start a series on angels. We’re going to start with the basics, and progress deeper as the series goes on.
The Word ‘Angel’
Used as both a title and a description of the nature of a being
- a messenger
- From an unused root meaning to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. An angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher) -- ambassador, angel, king, messenger.
- a messenger, generally a (supernatural) messenger from God, an angel, conveying news or behests from God to men.
- translated angel or messenger
Angel - Used to Describe Humans
13One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
- messenger is malak
9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’[c]
- messenger is aggelos
- talking about John the Baptist
24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
- messenger is aggelos
The Nature of Angels
What are angels?
Two Types of Angels - Good and Bad
7Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
- Who were the two armies fighting in this war?
- Michael and his angels and satan and his angels
- What are satan’s angels also known as?
- Are there differences in appearance or power between the good angels versus the bad ones?
- not necessarily
There is no reason to assume that satan’s angels are any different than Michael’s angels in terms of appearance and power except where specified in the bible. We will see later that they even have the same hierarchy of command. There may be differences based on whether or not they are in Heaven. We do know, though, that one difference is that Satan and his angels will be defeated and are destined for the fiery pit.
Angels are Not Saints (or Departed Humans)
The word "saint" (hagios) is derived from a Greek verb (hagiazo) whose basic meaning is "to set apart”, "sanctify, " or "make holy."
The idea of the word “saints” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom.
The bible depicts saints and angels as being distinct
- The Saints are from New Orleans; the Angels are from Anaheim
- sports joke lol
The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people [saints], went up before God from the angel's hand.
- God’s people = hagios
- notice that angels and saints are referred to in the same verse with different words and assumed to be different beings
22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect
- Who are the “spirits of righteous made perfect”?
- the saints
- Notice that the saints are listed separately from the angels
Why do Catholics refer to angels as saints?: St. Gabriel, St. Michael and Saint Raphael?
The Catholic church has three angels that are referred to as saints...why?
The word "saint"' (which comes from the Latin sanctus, holy) refers, in Catholic tradition, to those who are with God in eternity. The Second Vatican Council teaches, they are joined with God forever in a life free from decay, and share in his life and happiness. … Thus, there's nothing that would deny applying the title to angels.
-- from article in Catholic Courier June 2011
- angels are not departed human spirits
- there is a distinction between angels and saints
They Are Created Beings
15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
- How were the angels created?
- “through Jesus”
When Were They Created?
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
New American Standard Bible
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
King James Bible
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
hosts = tsaba (Hebrew):
- army, war, warfare
- often translated heavenly hosts
- So all the heavenly host [angels] were created before Adam was upon the earth.
Angels Are Spirit Beings
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
- Which angels are spirits?
- “all” of them
Angels Have the power of moral choice (Free Will)
1 Cor 6:2-3
2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
- What does it imply if angels get judged?
- they had a choice
So we see that not only will we not be judged, but we will help judge.
Are All Angels Male?
There is no doubt that every reference to angels in Scripture is in the masculine gender. The Hebrew word for angel is masculine. The Greek word for “angel” in the New Testament, angelos, is in the masculine form. In fact, a feminine form of angelos does not exist. There are three genders in grammar—masculine (he, him, his), feminine (she, her, hers), and neuter (it, its). Angels are never referred to in any gender other than masculine.
5 Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what is appearing.”
6 I asked, “What is it?”
He replied, “It is a basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquity[b] of the people throughout the land.”
7 Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! 8 He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it.
9 Then I looked up—and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.
10 “Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.
11 He replied, “To the country of Babylonia[c] to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.”
- It’s not clear that these women were angels
Some Jewish traditions do believe that there are both male and female angels.
They Shouldn’t be Worshiped
18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.
- you shouldn't bow down to created beings
- you shouldn't worship anything that was created
- only worship that which exists on it’s own
9Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
10At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
The Devil Wants To Be Worshiped
8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’e ”
Satan wanted Jesus to worship him. Satan wants us to worship him.
If an angel tells you to worship him then it is not from God.
2 Kings 19:35
35That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!
Can Angels Marry or Reproduce?
30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
- What does this verse tell us about angels?
- <to be discussed>
- Does this say angels can’t marry or reproduce?
- no, it says that angels in heaven don’t marry
- it doesn’t mention angles outside of heaven
- it doesn’t mention reproduction
1When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend witha humans forever, for they are mortalb ; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
- Can angels marry and reproduce?
- apparently so
- It appears that at a minimum they can reproduce with humans
- What are Nephilim
- offspring of the sons of God and humans
- Nephilim (Hebrew) = giants
- some say Goliath was a Nephilim
- Who are the “sons of God” here?
sons of God = ben elohim (Hebrew)
- Were these the angels that followed satan?
- possibly, but not necessarily
6One day the angelsa came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satanb also came with them. 7The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
- the word angels here is ben elohim
- this is the same word used in Gen 1:2
Are Angels Immortal?
34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels.
- It says angels don’t die
5 “The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.”
- Who is David saying will “die like mere mortals”?
- This can be seen to talk about the “fallen angels”
example: redwood tree
- Bristlecone pine trees live longer than redwoods, with the oldest one approximately 5,000 years old.
The word immortal comes from a Latin word that means “does not die”. It doesn’t mean cannot die. Perhaps if you are in Heaven you will not die, but if you are thrown out of Heaven you can.
What Do Angels Look Like?
Discussion: Do angels have wings? Are they chubby babies?
1The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
- They can eat human food
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
1Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Since angels were often mistaken as men in the bible we know that they must have looked like men. The two options are:
- those angels always look like men
- they can take the appearance of men
There is mention of Cherubim and Seraphim with wings. Whether or not these are considered angels would determine if this would mean some angels have wings.
- There are good and bad angels
- Angels are created beings (by Jesus)
- Angels are spirits
- Angels have the power of moral choice
- Angels are not dead humans
- Angels in heaven can’t die
- The bible only refers to male angels, but it’s not conclusive that there aren’t female angels.
- Angels are powerful warriors
- Angels can reproduce (through humans)?
- Angels can eat human food (and vice versa)?
- Angels either look like humans or can take on the appearance of humans when necessary.
We know that in the spirit realm there exists: God, Jesus, Satan, demons, and angels. We often assume that whenever the bible mentions a living being in Heaven that it’s either Jesus or an angel. Why can’t there be other living beings. Why do cherubim and seraphim have to be angels? Why is everything else an angel?
In the study after next we’ll look at what types of heavenly beings exist.
Presenter: Michael Leadon
Presenter: Michael Leadon