August 9, 2015

sugar coating

If you were asked to list on paper five things you know from the Bible about who angels are and what they do, would you have trouble? Probably many Christians would, because the doctrine of angels may be one of the most neglected areas of biblical study. As a result, we tend to be oblivious to significant spiritual activity, and slight some of our best friends in the process.

Today we are all somewhat like the proverbial Missourian in one respect: we don’t believe in what we can’t see. Se we don’t bother with angels

Pick up ten books at any book store including a bible book store and I can almost guarantee that what has been written about angels is pure crap.

First and foremost the biblical explanation of angels is sparse. The only good book I’ve ever read about angels was by Billy Graham and that was over 30 years ago.

A foundational portion of Scripture concerning angels is Heb. 1:14. Perhaps we could take it as a summary of one of God’s basic intentions for angels: they are to minister to the elect. The terms used in v. 14 indicate that they are involved with general service, and in particular spiritual service, the kind that has to do with things that priests in the Old Testament might do in approaching God. That they do not have physical bodies is indicated by their description here as spirit beings (see also Eph. 6:12). It is difficult to say whether the bodies they assumed on some occasions are real or only apparent, as in Gen. 18:2, where one of the men is apparently the preincarnate second Person of the Trinity).

It is interesting that the words translated “angel” in Hebrew and Greek both denote a messenger. Perhaps their basic function is that of carrying out God’s purposes as emissaries and couriers. This is certainly Gabriel’s role, for every time he appears in the Bible he is functioning as a carrier of information (Dan. 8, 9; Lk. 1). Cherubs, which seem to be angelic beings, appear especially in Gen. 3:24 as guardians of Eden after the fall and in a similar role (represented by carvings, at least) over the Ark of the Covenant as protectors of the holiness of God. Similarly, the seraphs, named only in Isa. 6, constantly labor at proclaiming His holiness. The beings in Rev. 4:6–8 appear to have features of both the seraphs and cherubs (as found in Ezek. 1).

There are only three named individual angels in the Bible, Gabriel, Michael, and Satan. Michael, who always appears in connection with Israel, is the only named “archangel.” or ruling angel. His function appears to be that of protecting God’s chosen people in some special way. According to Rev. 12:7–9, he will be successful in defeating Satan during the tribulation period.

So any book written that names another angel is a lie, any book written that says you can discover the name of an angel is a lie. Anybody that says they’ve been given the name of an angel is a liar. You get the point.

I’m not sure how I got started on this topic but it falls under the heading of spiritual warfare, don’t be deceived by all the hoopla about angels. They were never meant as a focal point for the human race.

God bless from

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