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Reference information on Angels

"The word "angel" literally means "messenger," and this is the principal activity of several of the holy angels mentioned in the Scriptures. However, angels can also perform other duties, such as: Matthew 18:10 - guardian angels; Genesis 19:1-29 - destroyed the city of Sodom; Revelation 20:1 - will bind Satan. These supernatural angelic personalities seem to be divided into several groups, including Principalities, Powers, Thrones and Dominions (Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; Colossians 1:16; 2:15; I Peter 3:22). Their heavenly groups are more powerful than the earthly groups by the same names. We know the names of some of the angels, such as Michael and Gabriel. In the order of creation [NOT evolution!] human beings were created a "little lower than the angels" (Psalms 8:5) however, we are not to worship angels (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 22:8, 9). Angels are mentioned throughout the Bible, and they are still working in heaven and on earth today. Angels will be very involved in the events foretold in the book of Revelation. Angels are usually invisible, but they have the ability to become visible in human form, and it is entirely possible you may have spoken to one of them (Hebrews 13:2), so be careful how you treat strangers!" Christian Family Center http://denig.com/christian/angels.html

"According to the Bible, angels are very real! In fact, there are over 250 references to them throughout scripture. From the Genesis story of creation, to the description of the end times in Revelation, angels actively participate in the affairs of this world and heaven. Angels are not myth at all - but they are widely misunderstood. Through the ages, people have found great comfort in believing in angels that hear our prayers and guide our steps. We have even managed to conjure up images of angels that look strikingly like people, from the most beautiful of golden haired maidens to chubby winged cherubs with harps. While these images make up some of the most treasured of renaissance artwork and adorn present day greeting cards and figurines, they are not based on the Bible' s description of how angels appear, nor on the purpose and duties for which God created them. The facts about angels are actually much more interesting than the fantasies we've managed to conjure up about them. Dispelling the most commonly held misconceptions about angels allows us to see them as the fascinating and awe-inspiring creatures that they are. Lets compare some myths to the biblical facts: 

Angels do not look like winged maidens or babies. Angels are spirits, and like God himself, do not possess permanent bodies. (Hb 1:14) In Hebrews they are described as "winds and flames of fire" (1:7) They seem to have the ability, however, to appear as people when it serves their purpose. In fact the Bible says that it is possible to entertain them without even being aware of it. "Do no forget to entertain strangers, for by doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." (Heb 13:2) When they appear in the Bible, they are most often masculine figures, or indescribably awesome creatures, but seldom as women and never as babies or children. A marvelous description of an angel in full glory is given in Daniel -- ". . . there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude." (Dan 10:5,6) This angel was suspended above the waters of the Tigris river (Dan 12:7), yet no mention is made of his possessing wings. The prophet Isaiah had the privilege of seeing angels with wings called "seraphs" above the throne of God. However, these winged angels were nothing like the images we are accustomed to. He describes them this way, ". . . each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty' " (Is 6:2,3) The angel that appeared outside the tomb of Jesus more closely fits the description in Hebrews of "winds and flames of fire." Matthew states that, "His appearance was like lightening and his clothes were white as snow." (Matt 28:3) Angels are mighty and very powerful. Daniel was so overcome by the angel's apparition that his strength was drained, his breathing difficult, and he was unable to speak. Upon seeing the angel Daniel wrote, "I was terrified and fell prostrate." (Dan 8:17) The angel that appeared like lightening at Jesus' tomb was so awesome that the guards were terrified and, "shook and became as dead men." (Mat 28:4) The responses of these men to the angels they encountered demonstrates the tremendous and powerful presence that angels have the ability to generate. There are many instances of angels serving as warriors of God, not only to protect, but also to destroy when necessary. In 2 Kings, the story is told of the Assyrian army threatening to overtake Jerusalem. An angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. (19:35) Imagine the power possessed by that lone angel! In the end times, four angels will be assigned the responsibility of destroying one-third of all mankind. (Rev 9:15) These angels are a far cry from the passive cloud-lounging angels we have become familiar with."

"Many paintings of angels show them as pretty women with wings, wearing flowing gowns. Yet, if you read the Bible, only one sentence (Zechariah chapter 5, verse 9) describes female beings with wings. They are not identified as angels, although these beings may be angels. All of the rest of the references to angels in the Bible (hundreds of them) describe angels as looking like “men” or having “human form.” Yes, we admit that the description of the cherubim (above) seems to stretch our concept of “human form.” Still, if we consider that man is made in God’s image, perhaps the angels are also! Therefore, if we all resemble God, a human (who does not have another visual point of reference) could describe an angel as having human form. Although we would not enter a debate over this point, angels seem to be a “creation” just as the living creatures here on Earth are a “creation.” In this way, angels can have different appearances from each other, just as a lion, an eagle, and a human look different from one another. There is no question about it, things are not boring in Heaven!" What About Angels http://www.azstarnet.com/~sandeej/angel.html

"Angels are Warriors - The scriptures tell of warring angels who fight spiritual battles for us and who overcome the efforts of Satan's demons to keep God's blessings from us. Daniel 10:12-14 describes a conflict in heaven between Michael, the Jew's patron angel, and the patron angel of Persia. Daniel had been fasting before God for three weeks, seeking understanding about the future. The passage's speaker, possibly Gabriel, came to deliver a message regarding the future to Daniel and explained that he had been detained for twenty-one days by the "prince of the kingdom of Persia" until Michael, a warring Archangel came to relieve him. Gabriel states that he must return to continue the fight, and he expects to be involved with the patron angel of Greece  also. That those evil demonic forces tried to withstand him suggests that they did not want Daniel to be told the things which were to befall the Jews in days yet to come. When the chief priests and elders of Jerusalem came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, his disciples were ready to attack. One even drew his sword and the cut off the ear of the high priest's slave. Jesus admonished him, saying that He could pray to God to send 12 legions (72,000) of angels to rescue Him Matthew 26:47-54 . But doing so would prevent the scriptures from being fulfilled. His destiny was to be the sacrificial Lamb for our sins, and it was therefore necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for our souls' salvation; redemption from the curse of sin. Redemption from sin is possible solely through the shedding of sinless blood, which only Jesus has ever possessed. During the wilderness wanderings of the Children of Israel, God led them with a fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day. He commanded Moses to travel onward to the land that had been promised them and promised that He would send angels to fight for them Exodus 33:2 . Without divine intervention and the activity of warring angels, they could never have hoped to attain their goal of the promised land. Without the intervention of God's angels today to fight our spiritual battles  for us we can never hope to attain our goal of our promised land as Children of God--Heaven. Table of contents Angels are Protectors

The scriptures tell us that we can expect angels to intervene in our affairs, to help us when we need help. Paul, in Hebrews 1:14 , says angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to those who will inherit salvation. Those who will inherit salvation are the blood-bought, redeemed children of God who rest their faith in Jesus Christ and His salvation provided by His sacrifice at Calvary for our sins.

The Psalmist, in Psalm 91:11-12 , declares that God has charged His angels with our protection: "...On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Satan used that scripture against Jesus on the mount of temptation when he urged Jesus to cast himself off the pinnacle of the temple since the angels would save him. Jesus countered with the scripture, "It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God." The warning here is strong: Although God will dispatch us help in times of need, we are not deliberately to challenge God by placing ourselves in jeopardy willfully and in defiance of His word. Angels were active in the days of the apostles, providing comfort, setting free from prison, and giving direction. The apostles were seized by the high priests and placed in prison to be tried, but Acts 5:17-21 describes how an angel opened the prison doors, brought them out, and told them to go to the temple and speak to the people about Jesus. The apostles obeyed and the great revival continued unabated. This was an amazing example of the intervention of angels in the work of the gospel for the salvation of souls from hell which is the destiny of human souls whose sins are not forgiven and covered with the sinless blood of Jesus.

Angels are perhaps best known as Messengers from God. There are many accounts in scripture, centered around the birth of Christ and the spread of His Word after His death. The priest, Zechariah, was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who declared that his barren wife, Elizabeth, would soon bear a son Luke 1:11 . This child was John the Baptist, whose mission was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Gabriel was also sent to Mary, to announce that although still a virgin, she would soon bear a son, who would be called Jesus. In the angel's words is the proclamation of the Messiah: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end..therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. Luke 1:26-35 "

An angel spoke to the disciple Philip and told him to go to the desert, south from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip obeyed and met an Ethiopian eunuch, who was struggling with a passage of scripture. Philip explained the scripture, which was a prophecy about Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins. The Ethiopian believed and was baptized in Jesus' Name Acts 8:26-29 .Many more scriptures tell of God sending angels as messengers to his people, sometimes bringing words of comfort; at other times, words of warning.

Angels are Sent as a Result of Prayer In many instances it is evident that angels are sent to intercede for humans only after others have prayed on their behalf. Abraham, told by God of His plan to destroy the wicked city of Sodom (and Gomorra), pleaded on behalf of the righteous and his nephew Lot: "Will you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city, will you destroy the city and the fifty righteous who are in it?" When God promised to spare the city for fifty righteous people, Abraham continued bargaining, eventually obtaining God's promise to spare the city for 10 righteous. God did not find even 10 righteous people in Sodom, but sent two angels to bring Lot and his family out of the city before its sudden and total destruction in a holocaust of fire and brimstone Genesis 19:15" . The Virtural Church http://www.virtualchurch.org/jk_angel.htm



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