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origin of angels? Can we become angels? What is the duty/purpose of angels? How have angels interacted with people from Genesis to Revelation? Should angels be worshipped or prayed to? How should we live in light of this doctrine? Angels are immensely popular today because people still need to feel close spiritually to each other, and to the Lord. Angels are a bridge between our world and the spiritual world, and they help guide us toward better lives. Angels are certainly among us, and they always will be.
Angels have always been unique and special beings, and their growing popularity today illustrates how we, as a nation, are still seeking spiritual fulfillment in our lives. Angels are wise beings who have many powers, and serve God, unless they have fallen, when they serve Satan. The Bible discusses angels throughout its pages, but early on, the origin of angels is clear. In Colossians 1:16, the reader learns God created all things, including angels, and he created them in his own image. "For in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him" (Colossians 1:16), and this same sentiment is echoed in John 1:1-3. Another historian writes about the origins of the name "angel," itself. "The name 'Angel' as a designation for spiritual beings of the supernatural world, has come into modern languages with Christianity from the Greek angelos ('messenger'), which is itself a rendering of the Hebrew mal'akh"
Radlach 174). While humans can emulate angels, they cannot become angels, for angels are apart from humans, as the theologian Thiessen notes, "Matt. 22:30 says that believers shall be like the angels, but it does not say that they shall be angels. The 'myriads of angels' are distinguished from the 'spirits of righteous men made perfect' (Heb. 12:22f)" (Thiessen 133). Thus, we can hope to attain everlasting life, but we should not hope to become angels, as they are beings far different from ourselves. As Jesus told Paul, "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or wife, or brethren, or parents, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come eternal life" (Luke 18:29-30). Therefore, we can hope for eternal life in heaven, but not as an angel.
Throughout the Bible, there are many different classifications of angels, both good and evil. The good angels include "angels," who are messengers, either individually or in multitudes. The "cherubim" are cherubs who tend to guard areas. They were mentioned in Genesis as guarding the Garden of Eden, and they often guarded temples and tabernacles. The "seraphim" are different from the cherubim, because God sat above the cherubim in Heaven, but below the seraphim. The seraphim are concerned with worship and service, "That is, they appear to be concerned with worship and holiness, rather than justice and might. In deep humility and profound reverence they carry on their ministry" (Thiessen 138). "The living creatures" are angels who are much like the cherubim. They also serve God near his throne, and witness the worship of others. The "archangels" are probably some of the most well-known angels, and Michael is the most well-known of the archangels. The archangels are especially powerful, and their special purpose is to guard the nation of Israel. The "watchers" are angels God sends to watch humans, and to bring them messages. The "Sons of God" are angels who are also messengers, but these are the "angels of God" who are mentioned so often in the Bible, and they are authority figures. There are also evil angels, including those "kept in prison," "the free angels," the "demons" and "Satan" himself. These evil angels all serve Satan and evil, and they are angels who fell from grace in Heaven. The evil angels can create a variety of sins and deformities, from blindness to immorality and corruption (Thiessen 137-143). The evil angels "are actively involved in opposing God and his program" (Thiessen 145). Eventually, the evil angels' destiny will be to perish in the lake of fire along with their evil leader, Satan (Matthew 25:41). However, the evil angels are able to "recover themselves," and return to Heaven, should they desire a better and more fulfilling life. "And they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will" (2 Timothy 2:26). This gives even the most evil hope, just as it gives us hope for redemption in Heaven.
Angels serve many purposes in our spiritual lives, and throughout the Bible. They are spirits who minister to those who are good and decent. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrew 1:14). Thiessen breaks the work and purpose of the angels into groups - the good and evil angels. The good angels serve two purposes, to serve the work and ministry of Christ, and the rest of their works (Thiessen 144). Throughout the Bible, the angels were messengers of great news regarding Christ, his birth, and his mission. They also often helped and guided him. "An angel from heaven came and strengthened him in the garden (Luke 22:43). He said he could ask the Father for twelve legions of angels to come to his aid, if it were necessary or desirable (Matt. 26:53)" (Thiessen 144). Angels will always have the work of the Lord to minister and protect, and they will always serve their Lord to the best of their abilities. The work of the good angels is important to God, but it is also quite important to us on Earth, because they give us hope, they guide us, and they protect us, such as "guardian angels," who protect their watches from harm and evil, and most Americans believe in angels. "Recent surveys indicate that 72 to 75% of those Americans polled believe in the existence of angels, while about 13% claim to have had a personal encounter with an angel within the last year" (Goode 18).
Angels have always interacted with people throughout the Bible, because they often serve as messengers between Heaven and Earth. The cherubim guarded some of the most important places on Earth, and angels have often come down to Earth as messengers and helpers for God's work. They told Mary she was carrying the Christ child, and they told the Wise Men of the birth of Christ. They guarded the Jews when the left Egypt and crossed the desert, and they aid bring messages from God to his servants on Earth, from the Apostles to Noah and Abraham. Some type of "angel of God" or the "Lord" appears in just about every book in the Bible, and they are always there to bring God's word, or to help those of us on Earth, as this passage from Acts clearly shows. "And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, 'Get up quickly.' And his chains fell off his hands (Acts 12:7). From good to evil, angels were an important and vital force during Biblical times, and that is another reason they have risen in popularity again today.
The angel phenomenon indicates that philosophical materialism -- the belief that nothing exists but corporeal substances occupying physical space -- has not triumphed in American culture. As Adler states, "The notion of angels -- of minds totally devoid of bodies -- is anathema to materialists of every variety." We are hungry for the spiritual, for the miraculous, for assurances of a realm beyond the corporeal (Bush 237).
Angels are a connection to God and his blessings, and so they continue to make their appearance on Earth today, in the form of everything from Christmas tree ornaments to lapel pins. "Tens of thousands of Americans sport cherub pins, indicating that they're in touch with their guardian angel and want to invoke his (or her) protection against evils that might befall them" (Goode 18). Angels are a part of our lives because we trust them, and because they have always interacted with those of us on Earth, as the Bible, from Genesis to Revelations and beyond, clearly shows.
Should we worship and pray to angels? Ultimately, the angels are messengers of God, so they could carry our prayers directly to His ears. However, we should not worship them separately from God, because they are not idols, they are simply his helpmates, and while they may appear as God or his voice, they are not really God, and they should not be worshipped as such. However, the angels can hear our voices, and help us in times of need, so while we should not…[continue]
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