Great Bible Doctrines (No.6)
The sacred scriptures contain many great doctrines. They are central to our understanding of the Bible itself, and our part in God’s plan for humanity. Last week we discussed the great Bible doctrine of Elders and Deacons. In this week’s bulletin we will discuss the doctrine of angels.
The study of angels is intriguing. There are some things we do not know about angels. Those things do not concern us. We will turn our attention to some of the things we do know about angels from scripture.
Angels are not equal to God, and they have not always existed. They are created beings. Paul wrote that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over an creation; for in him all things were created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him.” (Colossians 1:15-17) The words “thrones, dominions, principalities, powers” refers to orders of spiritual beings. Angels are included. Angels were created through Jesus the Son of the living God!
Angels are messengers of Yahweh. The Bible clearly teaches this in the Old and New Testaments. Angels were sent to Lot’s house in order to warn of the destruction coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah. They looked like “men” but they were angels sent from heaven by Yahweh. “And the two angels came to Sodom at evening; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and bowed himself with his face to the ground.” (Genesis 19:1) The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks of those who “entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2) He is likely speaking of the event recorded in Genesis 19. In Luke chapter one, we read about an angel being sent to Elizabeth and Mary in order to announce the births of John the Immerser and Jesus. (Luke 1:11, 19, 26, 38)
The Hebrew word for angel is malak, and the corresponding Greek word is aggelos/angelos. The words mean messenger, envoy, attendant. It is used in scripture to indicate one who acts as an agent or courier who transmits an announcement or, message. We often read about “an angel from heaven.” Therefore, they were sent by Yahweh. They are his messengers!
Two angels were sent to Sodom, where Lot and his family lived, to announce the destruction of the wicked city because of the gross sexual immorality. (Gen. 19) An angel of Yahweh called to Abraham from heaven and told him “do not lay your hand on the boy (Isaac) or do anything to him.” (Gen. 22:11-12) An angel of Yahweh appeared, to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a burning bush. (Ex. 3:2)
In the New Testament an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Immerser to announce the birth of John. (Luke 1:11-13) An angel appeared to Joseph to announce the birth of Jesus the Savior of the world. (Mat. 1:20) Angels were ministering to Jesus after he had been tempted by the devil. (Mark 1:13) An angel descended from heaven to announce the Lord’s resurrection on the first day of the week. (Mat. 28:2-6) An angel of God appeared to Cornelius, and told him to send to Joppa to get Peter to come to his house to tell him words by which he and his family would be saved. (Acts 10:3-7) An angel of the Lord rescued Peter from the hands of Herod. (Acts 12:7-10) An angel of the Lord struck Herod down and he was eaten by worms and died! (Acts 12:23) The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said, “some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Heb. 13:1) According to Paul, angels will accompany the Lord from heaven on the last day of human history! (2 Thess. 1:7) All this shows that angels have been very active throughout man’s earthly life.
Two angels have special prominence in scripture; Michael and Gabriel. Gabriel is introduced to us in the book of Daniel. (Chapters 8:16; 9:21) Michael is mentioned in (Jude 9) Michael is presented as a warrior, the champion of Yahweh against evil. He disputed with the Devil himself! Gabriel was a messenger of peace! It is he who brought the news of redemption, mercy, and salvation! There was and is a place for both angels in God’s plan for humanity.
The scriptures say much about angels both explicitly and implicitly. In the words of the Hebrews writer, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those are to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)
For more teaching on crucial issues visit the following blogs:
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