In the past few years there has been an explosion of interest in angels.
In these days angels are admired by millions of people.
We see things about angels everywhere.
Television shows like "Angel" and "Touched By An Angel" have been extremely popular.
Movies like "Angels in the Outfield" and "City of Angels" were big box office hits.
Dozens of books concerning angels have been on the best seller lists.
Every reference to angels is incidental to some other topic.
They are not dealt with in themselves.
When angels are mentioned, it is always to inform us further about God
-- what He does, and how He does it.
Since details about angels are not significant for that purpose, many details
about angels are omitted.
It is important to keep in mind three important elements about the biblical revelation
that God has given us about angels.
The mention of angels is scattered throughout Scripture.
In the NASB translation these celestial beings are referred to 196 times,
103 times in the Old Testament and 93 times in the New Testament.
These many references are scattered throughout the Bible being found
in at least 34 books from the very earliest books (whether Job or Genesis) to the last book
of the Bible (Revelation).
There are numerous references to angels by the Lord Jesus, who is the Creator of all things,
which includes the angelic beings.
Paul wrote, “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
(a reference to angels)—all things have been created by Him and for Him.” (Colossians !:16)
While the mention of angels may seem incidental to some other subject,
it is an important element of divine revelation and should not be neglected,
especially in view of the present craze and many misconceptions about angels.
It is out of all these Scriptures that this study of angels is based.
This a nine part study of angels.
I first used this study on Sunday evening, and I have also used it on Wednesday night.
It would be an excellent study for Sunday morning Bible study.
Whenever you use it, your attendance will increase.
Part 1: Introduction To Study of Angels
The church has remained strangely silent about angels.
In his best-selling book on angels, Billy Graham wrote that he had never heard
a sermon on angels, despite having read of "literally thousands" of personal accounts
of people seeing these amazing beings.
In fact, fallen angels ---Satan and his demons excite more curiosity
in church pulpits and class rooms than heavenly angels.
We must have a biblical understanding of angels.
There is a great danger to become susceptible to the influence of the devil.
The devil can ensnare us as easily through "angelism" as he can through materialism
or sexual lust or the hunger for power.
We are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:14
that "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."
Part 2: Creation of Angels
The spirit world began with time, and was created by the power of God.
We know according to the biblical record that angels came into existence prior to the creation
of the material world and, also were created prior to man.
In the first place, let us see that the creation of production of angels was by God.
In Psalm 148:1-5, we read these words: "Praise ye him, all his angels ... for he
[that is, God] commanded, and they were created."
That is an important truth that we should remember.
In Colossians 1:16, we read: "For by him [that is, Jesus Christ the eternal Logos]
were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:
all things were created by him, and for him."
So, the existence of angels came about by the creative power of Jesus Christ.
Part 3: Ministry and Abode of Angels
The ministry of angels has been directed more towards the physical and material aspects
of human life than the spiritual.
We should keep this distinction in mind for angels are not to be confused with the presence,
the power, or the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Interpreter and Revealer of Jesus Christ.
He elucidates the things of the spirit.
He gives our minds the understanding of things that we can never grasp with our carnal minds.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is separate and distinct from the ministry of angels.
Hebrews 1:13-14 reminds us that angels are ministering spirits.
They are not visible to the human eye.
Those verses say, “But to which of the angels said he at any time,
Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
Part 4: Purpose of Angels
God has used many different messengers to convey His truths to the minds and hearts of people.
God does this in a variety of ways.
God can choose any method He wishes to perform His service in the lives of human beings.
The service of angels to mankind is not based on their love for you and me.
It is based on their love for God, and they respond to the wishes of God in their ministry to us.
We are children of God' and angels will give instant service at God's direction
whenever it is appointed unto them.
Angels serve people in thousands of ways.
Hebrews 1:14 says this: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister
for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
That includes a ministry to the church.
For those who comprise the true church are the heirs of salvation
Part 5: Personal Ministry of Angels
We remember that in the Old Testament angels were manifestations of Jehovah God.
Their appearance was recognizable by human beings.
They appeared to be human in some cases, as in the case of Lot when he entertained angels.
On occasion, the angelic manifestation was in the visible form of a flame
as it was with Moses and the burning bush.
In the New Testament, angels appeared to be personal agents.
Scholars differ as to whether or not there are personal, or guardian, angels.
If we accept the Bible as God's inspired Word, then we must accept the reality
of personal angels.
That is clear, and we must have an understanding of it before we can experience
the Christian life in all its fullness.
There are certain incidents in the New Testament where angels of God ministered
to the personal, individual need of one of God's children.
I believe in a personal angel for all of us who are children of God.
The writer of Hebrews states that angels are" ministering spirits,"
and have the responsibility of ministering to those of us who have been saved
and have been born into the family of God.
So, we need to learn some things about the personal ministry of angels.
Part 6: Ministry to Jesus
The Bible teaches that angels are spirits, but there are many instances in the Bible
where they have taken on visible bodies, or physical manifestations.
Our text in Matthew indicates that angels ministered to Jesus Christ.
We will look at the angelic ministry to Jesus Christ in three ways.
First, in preparation.
Then, we will see it in provision.
In the third-place, we will see it in prophecy.
Remember that there were instances that took place prior to the coming of Christ
as the way was being prepared for His coming.
There was an aged priest named, Zacharias, which means, "the Lord remembers."
His wife was named, Elizabeth, and that name means "God's oath."
Part 7: Categories and Chores
We find several scriptural indication that angels are organized.
One of these is found in Jude 9 where reference is made to the archangel.
The prefix, "arch," means ruler.
The archangel is the ruler of angels.
Also in Matthew 26:53, Jesus referred to 12 legions of angels.
This does suggest some definite organization.
We are aware that this innumerable host transcends our ability to count, and exceeds
our imagination, is definitely organized and the purpose of their organization is
to do the will of God explicitly.
So, we will look at a number of categories of angels.
Many are mentioned throughout God's Word, such as: seraphim, cherubim, thrones,
dominions, powers, principalities, archangel, and angels.
They are at least eight different Greek words used in the New Testament to designate these.
In Colossians 1:16, there is a reference to thrones, lordships, principalities and authorities.
In Romans 8:37, we read of angels, principalities, and powers.
In Ephesians 6:12, principalities, authorities, world rulers, and spiritual powers are named.
Part 8: A Peculiar Angel
There are Scriptures found in both Old and New Testaments which indicate
that one angel is unique, or different, from all the rest.
In the Old Testament, he is uniformly designated as "the angel of the Lord."
That one word, "the," sets him apart.
This is comparable to what Jesus said in John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life,"
indicating that there is not another way or another truth or another life.
He is it!
In that sense, the angel of the Lord is unique and peculiar.
He is different from the others.
He is not only designated as the Angel of the Lord.
He is also called the Messenger of the Covenant.
This title is found in Exodus 3:2 and in Malachi 3:1.
Exodus 3:2 says, “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire
out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire,
and the bush was not consumed.”
Part 9: Fallen Angels
Two kinds of angels are described in the Bible.
One is described as the elect or holy angels, and the other is described as the fallen angels.
The fallen angels are those who sinned, and who fell from their original estate.
Around these fallen angels are associated all the sin and evil in our world,
including unclean spirits and demons.
Jesus repeatedly referred to demons and unclean spirits.
Lucifer, who was called "the son of the morning," became Satan by his sin.
His was the first sin in all creation.
It came long before the sin of Adam and Eve; and, because of his sin,
he who once enjoyed the estate of an angel became the adversary of God.
He is found under approximately 40 different titles in the pages of the Word of God.
He is called the adversary.
He is called the accuser.
He is called a roaring lion.
He is called Beelzebub.
He is called a a liar and the father of all lies, and many others.