What are angels and where did they come from?

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Anne O’Brien’s




AND WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? This study notes provide the core content of a group of bible studies on what are Angels and where do they come from? While the core message of the study has been captured for you to read, written text can not fully express the sense of anointing upon the discussion of the word or the joy of corporate fellowship. We encourage you to pray before you begin reading that the Lord would open your heart and mind to be receptive and responsive to God’s message contained within this study. There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds.

What are angels and where did they come from? a) A creation distinct from man: 1 Cor. 15v39,40 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. b) Made by God: Col. 1v16 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. c) Neither marry or die (immortal): Luke 20v34-36 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. d) Sometimes ‘take on’ a body: Hebrews 13v2 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. e) Cherubim & seraphim have wings: Exodus 25v20 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. f) They are innumerable: Rev. 5v11 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. g) Often have a special brightness: Acts 10v30 30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me h) Have superhuman strength: Matt. 28v2 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

SUMMARY: Angels are spiritual beings; distinct from man; created by God; immortal; occasionally appear in human form; some have wings, extra brightness and strength; and they are innumerable.

Why were angels created?

a) For worship & ministry to God: Luke 2v13,14 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” b) For ministry to man: Matt. 4v11 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. SUMMARY: They were created to minister both to God and to mankind.

What is a guardian angel? a) One with ministry of protection: Psalm 91v11,12 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. b) One assigned to children: Matt. 18v10 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. c) The early church (Peter): Acts 12v15 15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” SUMMARY: They protect, watch out for and minister to us.

What are the specific duties of angels? a) Protection and deliverance: Acts 5v18,19 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. b) To give strength: Luke 22v43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.


c) To nourish: 1 Kings 19v5-8 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. d) To bring understanding: Daniel 9v21-23 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. e) To give direction: Acts 8v26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 26

f) To give encouragement: Acts 27v23,24 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ g) To bring revelation: Rev. 22v6 6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

h) To deliver the Law to Moses: Acts 7v53 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” i) To bring judgment: Acts 12v23 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. j) To accompany us in death: Luke 16v22 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. SUMMARY: Angels protect, strengthen, nourish, bring understanding, give guidance, encourage, bring judgment, and accompany us in death.

What rank do angels hold? a) They are not greater than man: Psalm 104v4 4 He makes winds his angels, flames of fire his servants. b) Two are named - Michael and Gabriel: Jude 9/ Luke 1v19 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.” c) They are subject to God: 1 Peter 3v22 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand —with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. SUMMARY: Angels have different ranks and status – angels, cherubim, seraphs, archangels (some are named). Michael is also referred to as the Prince of Angels in Daniel. They are all subject to God.

Do they have limitations? a) Wise but not all-knowing: 1 Peter 1v12 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. b) Helpful but not always present: Daniel 10v13 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. c) Are not to be worshipped: Col. 2v18,19 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. d) Jesus is in all ways pre-eminent: Hebrews 1v4-14 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7 In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom. 9 You have loved right-eousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” 10 He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” 13 To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? SUMMARY: Angels do not know everything and cannot be in more than one place at a time. (That is, they are not omniscient and omnipresent like God.) They are not to be worshipped.