Angels In Scripture
By Michael K. Jones

Angels are pure spirits created by God. Their apparitions and missions by God are constantly mentioned in the Bible. The original meaning of the word "Angel is messenger; and in general it can be said that although the word is sometimes used of other persons acting as messengers (e.g., human persons, Is. 18:2 ; 33:7) normally its use is restricted to the pure spirits who act as divine messengers. Thus God send angels to announce His will, to correct, punish, teach, rebuke, console (Ps. 102:20 ; Matt. 4:11 ; 13:49 ; 26:53).

Angels were created by God probably at the same time as creation. They were not created all equal (Dan. 10:13 ; Apoc. 12:7) they are commonly grouped into three hierarchies with three choirs each, the name of which are mentioned in the Bible: seraphim (Is.6:2,6), cherubim (Gen. 3:24 ; Ezech. 10:1-22) and Thrones (Col.1:16) dominations (Col. 1:16), virtues (1 Pet. 3:22), powers (Col. 1:16 ; 1 Pet. 3:22), principalities (Col. 1:16), archangels (1 Thess. 4:16), and angels. But they were all destined for the beatific vision of God depending on the outcome of a trial to which God subjected them. In this trial some rebelled against God and were consequently cast into hell (2 Pet. 2:4)

The good angels can see God (Matt. 18:10), are called sons of God (Job 1:6 ; 38:7), aid those who fear God (Ps. 33:8 ; 90:11 ; Bar. 6:6), are guardians of countries (Dan. 4:10,20 ; 10:10 ,13, 20, 21 ; Acts 16:6) and of individuals (Matt. 18:10) The thought that God appoints an angel to guard every soul from the moment of its birth is a common theological teaching. The Church has not defined this doctrine as of faith, but it is supported by Scripture (Ps. 90:11 ; Matt. 18:10) and also by Catholic tradition.

Angels who did not preserve grace but fell from their high state together with Satan (2 Pet. 2:4 ; Jude 1:6) are called fallen angels, angels of the devil, or angels of the dragon (Matt. 25:41 ; Apoc. 12:7).

Having driven man out of the Garden of Eden, God placed the Cherubim at its gates as guards (Gen. 3:24).

Angels were sent to assist Agar (Gen. 16:27 ; 21:17), Abraham (Gen. 18 ; 22:11), Lot (Gen. 19), Jacob (Gen. 28:12-22) Elias (3 Kings 19:5) the three children (Dan. 3:49) Daniel (Dan. 6:22), and Tobias (Tob. 5:6-22).

The Law was given through angels (Heb. 2:2). An angel guided the people of Israel (Heb. 12: 22); (Num. 20:16). God promised to send an angel to His people (Ex. 23:20 ; 33-2), sent to prevent Balaam from cursing His people (Num. 22:22), and sent another to Josue (Josue 5:13-14) And angel rebuked the people (Judg. 2:1-4), directed Gedeon (Judg. 6:11-40), appeard to Samson's mother (Judg. 13:4-21), punished David (2 Kings 24:16 : 1 Paral. 21:15), directed Elias (3 Kings 19:5 ; 4 Kings 1:3-15), and defeated the Assyrians (4 Kings 19:35), Angles also explained visions (Dan. 8:16 ; 9:21 ; 10:5 10, 16), lead the army of the Machabees (2 Mach. 11:6-11), and punished Heliodorus (2 Mach. 3:24-27).

An angel appeared to St. Joseph (Matt. 1:20 ; 2:13-19) to Zachary (Luke 1:11, 19-20), to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), to the shepherds (Luke 2:8,15) to our Lord in His agony (Luke 22:43), to the disciples after the Resurrection (Matt. 28:2) and after the Ascension (Acts 1:10), and to St. Paul (Acts 27:23). God sent an angel to assist St. Peter (Acts 10:19 ; 12:7-11), Cornelius (Acts 10:3 ; 11:13) the eunuch of Queen Candace (Acts 8:2639): to aid the sick (John 5:4), and to bear the just to Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22). They revealed the Apocalypse to St. John (Apoc. 1:1 : 19:10 ; 22:8), Angels desire to know the mystery of the Gospel (1 Peter 1:12). They will summon men to judgment (Matt. 24:31 ; 1 Thess. 4:16) although they know not the day (Mark 13:32), and will come with Christ to judge mankind (Matt. 16:27 ; 2 Thess. 1:7).

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