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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, January 26 2023

Incredible Angels

Angels are mighty spirit beings, created to serve God and humanity. Hebrews 1:14 tells us: "… angels [are] ministering spirits … sent to serve those who are going to inherit eternal life"

by Steve Myers

Angels were created before the universe and our planet was formed, as God confirms when He asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth… When the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7).

Daniel tells us "Many thousands of angels” are serving God at His throne “and millions of angels stood before Him" (Daniel 7:10). In Revelation 5:11 John, who was inspired to write the book of Revelation, described a vision of innumerable angels surrounding God’s throne.

One of the many ways angels serve humanity is to deliver messages on behalf of God (Psalm 104:4). In fact the word for ‘angel’ in the original Hebrew and Greek means ‘messenger'. When an angel appears to us in human form he appears as a man—not as a woman or a baby cupid. Genesis chapter 18 tells of three beings who came to visit Abraham. Two of these beings were angels and in verse 22 they are described as men, "The men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord."

At the time of Christ’s resurrection when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome entered His tomb,"they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side." (Mark 16:5). This was an angel, manifesting as a man who told these ladies, "'...Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen!... go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him, as He said'" (verses 6-7).

Another popular perception concerning angels is that we have a guardian angel. Nowhere in the Bible does it specifically say everyone has their own guardian angel, but angels are sent by God to watch over and help us. Psalm 91:11 tells us, "He shall give his angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways." When Danila was cast into the lion's den the lions did not attack Daniel because God "...sent his angel and shut the lion's mouth" (Daniel 6:22). The Bible also tells us we might be unaware that we have had contact with an angel (Hebrews 13:2).

However, even though angels may be sent to assist us in certain circumstances, we are not to look on angels as our own personal genies. God is our helper and sustainer. We need to call on God for help and not fall into the trap of praying to and worshiping angels. The thanks and credit for answered prayer and intervention needs to go to God. Colossians 2:18 reminds us, "Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and the worship of angels…"

In the book of Revelation chapter 19, the Apostle John describes an incident when he received a message from an angel and he was so awed by the experience that he fell at the angel’s feet to worship him (verse 10). But this powerful angel of God told him, "Don't do that…I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God…”

There is yet another amazing aspect of an angel's job description. We're told that "we are warring not against flesh and blood,” but that we are fighting evil rulers and authorities of the unseen spiritual world (Ephesians 6:12). Angels not only deliver God's messages, protect and serve us, they are also engaged in spiritual warfare, fighting evil. There are struggles between good and evil in the spirit realm. We read of an example of that in the book of Revelation 12:7-9 when war broke out in heaven: "...Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer….[and]...the great dragon was cast out... into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (See our booklet Is There Really A Devil? for more information.)

The Bible also references the angels of God as a spiritual army. When the disciples were going to fight so that the soldiers could not take Christ He told them, "Put your sword away…Don't you know I can now pray to my Father, and he'll provide me with more than 12 legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:52-54). In many places in the Bible the term ‘heavenly hosts’ refers to God’s great spiritual army which fights evil and protects and helps us at His command.