FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

"ANGELIC BEINGS?"

FACT OR FICTION:

Superstition is described as an irrational belief or notion. Many of the modern concepts of angelic beings border more on superstition than fact.

All we can possibly know concerning angelic beings has been revealed by God. In the majority of the cases, the descriptions given to us have not come in the form of explanation or definition; so what we learn of them is secondary to the primary reference we find them.

With this said; let us let the scriptures describe and let us be satisfied with what has been revealed verses creating superstitions.

 

CHERUB – CHERUBIM:

The origin and significance of the word is impossible to determine with any certainty. Some give it an ancient Shemitic root, and describe it as meaning ‘to plough'. Others attribute it to Arabic roots and give it the meaning ‘a ship of transport'. Other variations describe it as ‘beast', ‘near', ‘strong', ‘to be noble' or ‘ test '. As you can see the etymology is uncertain at best.

Ezekiel describes them as “Living Creatures”.

Read: Ezekiel 1:4-14.

As you read this text, keep in mind that Ezekiel is being blessed with the opportunity to see a vision of God and heavens throne. This is being given to establish God's ultimate power as He moves from the north bringing judgment on unfaithful Judah (in the form of the Babylonians). Ezekiel is being shown descriptive images of things familiar to him in his day. These are physical images given to describe spiritual things (so they do not translate to the reader as being actual but descriptive).

They are used again by God, to describe to Ezekiel, His glory leaving the temple and His judgment coming on Judah (Ezekiel 10).

Cherub are introduced first in scripture as being placed at the east of the Garden of Eden to keep the way to the tree of life – Genesis 3:24.
God directed Moses to place two Cherubim of beaten gold on the mercy seat above the ark – Exodus 25:18-22; 37:7-9; Hebrews 9:5.
The curtains of the tabernacle were embroidered with figures of Cherubim – Exodus 26:1.
God is said to dwell between the cherubim in both the tabernacle and the temple – Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalms 80:1; 99:1; Isaiah 37:16.
The cherubim in the temple were huge figures (10 cubits or about 15 feet tall) – 1 Kings 6:23-28; 2 Chronicles 3:10-13; 5:7-8.
They were carved on the walls of the temple – 1 Kings 6:29.
David would sing that God rode on a cherub – 2 Samuel 22:11.

 

Their roles are varied in scripture, from carrying God, to guardians. One thing for sure is that they are living creatures (spirits) that serve God in various fashions (judgment for breach of commandment, in the promise of apocalypse, and in prophecy). Their service is rendered immediately to God.

As we have seen, they are permanently stationed in the temple of the children of Israel to remind them of their existence and the glory of God; however, none have been seen by men except in visions.

The cherubim serve the purpose of magnifying the holiness and power of God. This appears to be their main function throughout the Bible. In addition to singing God's praises, they also serve as a visible reminder of the majesty of God and His abiding presence with His people.

 

 

SERAPHIM:

The name given these beings means ‘The Burning Ones', or ‘Fiery Ones'; which sets them apart from the cherubim and adds them to the order of unearthly beings.

The only place they appear in scripture is the letter of Isaiah.

Read: Isaiah 6:1-7.

Again these celestial beings only appear in a vision; this one of Isaiah's calling to be a prophet of God. Like the cherubim and all the angelic beings we will discuss, they are perfectly obedient to God!

 

ANGELS:

In both Hebrew and Greek, the word means ‘messenger'. This is a heavenly being made a little higher in dignity than man. Probably the most recognized of all the heavenly beings and the one with the most fiction attached.

They are, along with all the heavenly beings, created.

Psalm 148:1-5 “Praise the Lord!

Praise the L ord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! 2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! 3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the Lord , For He commanded and they were created.”

Colossians 1:16 “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”

 

Hebrews 1:7; describes that God made His angels “spirits” and “His ministers a flame of fire” (quoted from - Psalms 104:4). These predicates give property to the attributes God gave them to show that they were created for His purposes.

They are spiritual beings and without human form; even though they often appear to men in the form of man, as messengers of God.

Jesus described them as not dying and not being subject to fleshly relationships. In addition, in the after life we become like them (not become them, but of similar nature) – Luke 20:34-37.
The description of the principalities and powers in heavenly places describes an order and organized company of heavenly beings – Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 1:16.
There is only one who is given the express title archangel (chief angel), Michael – Jude 9. However, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 - may indicate that there are more than one?
Additionally, there are only two angels of scripture given names; Michael, and Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God – Luke 1:19.
They were created holy; however, a portion of them did not maintain their proper domain and because of rebellion were cast down to ‘Tartaros ', or torments. Additionally, the language of scripture reveals this as a one time event of the past – 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. Neither passage was given to document this occurrence as to inform you or me as to the particulars, but rather to show that God has the power to deal with false teachers in like fashion.
The work of angels in the Bible are as varied as the amount of them (see: Revelation 5:11 to develop an understanding of the host).
They stand in the presence of God and worship Him – Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:6.
In the Old Testament, they were known to assist, protect, and deliver God's people – Genesis 19:11; Psalms 91:11; Isaiah 37:36; Daniel 3:28; 6:22.
Both Peter and Paul would receive aid from angels – Acts 5:19; 27:23.
They are described as the tool of God's wrath and judgment – Exodus 12:23 the destroyer to the first born of Egypt; 2 Samuel 24:16 destroying 70,000 because of David's disobedience; Acts 12:23 striking Herod dead for his insolence.
They reveal, interpret, and execute God's will towards men and nations – Genesis 19:12-13; 2 Samuel 24:16; 2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37:36; Ezekiel 9:2; Daniel 7:16; Zechariah 1:9-19.
It was by angels that the Old Law was delivered – Acts 7:53 ; Hebrews 2:2 .
They announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus – Luke 1:11-13; 26-38.
They ministered to the Lord after His temptation – Matthew 4:11; they came to Him and strengthened Him in the Garden – Luke 22:43; an angel rolled the stone away from His tomb and spoke to the women who had come to tend to His body – Matthew 28:2-7; and angels spoke to the Apostles at the ascension of Jesus – Acts 1:11.

There are two passages of scripture that tend to lead to more of the superstitions than all these others combined. The first is Jesus' teaching in Matthew, note:

Matthew 18:10 "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

 

Many attempt to establish from this statement of the Lord that we all have guardian angels. The Jews themselves were just as guilty of this unsubstantiated thought process by the time the Lord came in the flesh. They not only believed that everyone had a guardian angel but they also had a personal demon attached to them as well (none of this substantiated by the Old Law).

Jesus was here talking about saving the lost. The little ones mentioned here are the redeemed lost of Israel . The Lord adds to this statement an important fact; these angels face God! That is, their service is directional; towards God. Additionally, if we look at Luke's account of Jesus and the lost, there is added information to this passage, note:

Luke 15:10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

 

There is absolutely no indication in any of this of guardian angels that act on our behalf here on earth.

Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

 

Here in the second passage of note, the Hebrew writer establishes, through a rhetorical question, that angels are spirits that serve those who will inherit salvation. So, how do they minister or serve?

First, to the purposes of God; as all the angelic beings do the will of God!

Second, since they are in the spirit, we know that they are not guarding us in fleshly things!

Third, we know that God is not a respecter of persons – Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17. For an angel to act on behalf of one and not another would make this notion void. So, there has to be a universal way for them to minister to all the same way!

2 Peter 1:3 “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

James 1:21 “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

 

It has to be in this venue that they minister to us; since this is the universal way God brings us to inherit salvation!

 

Summary:

Angelic beings are created beings for the specific purposes of God. No halos, no wings on the angels, and we do not become angels! However, in the after-life we become similar in nature; spirits – Luke 20:36; 1 John 3:2-3.

It may be fashionable or cute to perceive ourselves as having guardian angels that deliver us from accidents, or some other form of harm; it is just not scriptural. In addition, it insinuates that God is at fault if a child dies in a wreck or some other form of tragic event befalls a saint. Shame!

We have been blessed with the love of Christ which passes knowledge through the spiritual blessings in Him (Ephesians 1:3; 3:19). It is in this relationship and not superstition that true joy is known!

Philippians 3:20-21 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”