The Hebrew word “mal’ ak” means “messenger”, “representative”, or “angel”. It is used of both human and supernatural messengers, and the context will usually determine which is intended. The mission of a “mal’ ak” is to carry a message, fulfill a specific, special commission, and/or represent the one sending him. The supernatural beings called “angels” are also referred to by other names, “sons of God” (meaning direct creations of God or like God in certain ways, Job 1:6; 2:1), “mighty ones” (Psa. 29:1), “heavenly beings” (Psa. 89:6), “holy ones” (Psa. 89:5, 7; Dan. 4:13, 17, 23; 8:13). The angels were created by God (Psa. 33:6; Col. 1:16) and were witnesses to the creation of the material universe (Job 38:4-7). They serve as members of God’s eternal court (Job 1:6, Isa. 6:2-4) and are exhorted to praise Him (Psa. 103:20-21; 148:2). Angels are sometimes called “hosts” (Psa. 103:20-21; Lk. 2:13), “principalities, rulers, powers, authorities” (Eph. 3:10, Col. 1:16).
There are different orders and different types of these powerful beings (Dan. 10; Isa. 6:2, Jude 1:9; Gen. 3:24). The cherubim, for example, have traits of both humans and animals (Gen. 3:24; Psa. 18:10; Ex. 25:18-20; Ezek. 1:5-14; 10:8, 19-22). Angels in the Old Testament have a protecting ministry to God’s people (Ex. 23:20; Dan. 3:28; 6:22; 2 Kings 6:17) and were involved with God’s judgments on sinful people (Gen. 19:1; 2 Sam. 24:17; 2 Chron. 32:21; Isa. 37:36). Seraphim seem to deal with uncleanness in the people of God (Isa. 6:2-7).
Lucifer/star of the morning/shining one (Isa. 14:12), later to become Satan/the devil, was created an angel by God. Satan leads a host of fallen angels (Matt. 25:41), who, like him, fell from their original state. They chose not to keep their position of authority but abandoned their proper or own home (Jude 1:6) and as a result are condemned to eternal judgment (2 Pet. 2:4). These are called demons.
One of the persons of the Holy Trinity, probably Christ, is called “the angel of God” (Ex. 14:19 with 13:21; 2 Sam. 14:20; Gal. 4:14) and/or “the angel of the Lord” (Gen. 16:9-10, 13; 22:11-12, 15-18; Ex. 3:2, 4-7; Num. 22:23-31; Judges 2:1-5; 6:11-23; 13:3-22; Zech. 12:8). The phrase “an angel of the Lord” however, usually refers to a celestial spirit (Matt. 28:2; Lk. 1:11, 19).
Good angels in the New Testament are closely associated with the first (Matt. 1-2; Lk. 1-2) and second comings (Matt. 13; 24-25) of Jesus. They are created by Christ, Who is head over all powers (Neh. 9:6; Col. 1:16; 2:10). They minister to believers (Heb. 1:14). The Greek word “angelos” means “messenger” or “angel”.
Psa. 33:6; Col. 1:16 What do these verses tell us about God’s/Jesus’ relationship to angels?
[“host” – army or multitude, Lk. 2:13, 15].
Realizing this, how should you then view angels in comparison to God?
Neh. 9:6; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 7:11; 5:11-14; 4:6-11 What do these verses tell us about angels’ relationship to God/Jesus?
How does knowing this affect you, and why?
Rev. 22:8-9 What should we not do to angels?
Why (Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9; Matt. 4:10)?
Lk. 20:36 What character trait do angels have?
Why do you think this is?
Matt. 22:30 What don’t angels do?
Why do you think this is?
Matt. 24:3, 36 What don’t angels know?
What does this tell you about angels?
Lk. 15:7, 10 What do angels have when a sinner converts/repents?
Why do you think this is?
Jude 1:9 What attitude or character trait does Michael the archangel exhibit by not pronouncing a railing judgment against the devil, but rather having the Lord rebuke the devil?
Are you aware of the devil’s great power and, therefore, call on the Lord to rebuke him rather than you doing so yourself in your own authority, and why?
Psa. 103:20-21 In what are angels mighty?
And what do they do?
Do you obey God, even though you may be strong and want to take things into your own hands rather than do what or how God says to do something, and why?
Matt. 25:31 Who is going to come with Christ, the Son of Man, at His second coming to earth in glory?
Why do you think this will be?
Mk. 8:38 What character trait of angels is mentioned?
Are you holy (set apart for God’s use), or are you pursuing your own self-centered goals, plans, and desires?
1 Tim. 5:21 What does it say that some angels are?
Does this imply that some other angels were not chosen/elected by God for honorable or obedient use (like those who followed Satan in rebellion against God) and, therefore, fell from their original positions to become demons (Jude 1:6)?
Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11 How many angels are there?
Why do you think God created so many?
Gen. 3:24 What was the function of the cherubim here?
What does this tell you about angels and their involvement on the earth?
[Cherubim have to do with the holiness of God as violated by sin, Ex. 25:17-20.].
Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2; Acts 7:53 What did angels do, according to these verses?
[The object of showing how the law was given in Gal. 3:19 was to indicate the inferior and subordinate manner that it was given in comparison to the superior manner God’s promise/grace was given. The promise was given directly to Abraham, while the law was given through two intermediaries, angels and Moses.].
What function did angels play here then?
Dan. 9:20-23; 8:15-19; 10:10-21; 4:13, 17; Zech. 1:9-19; 2:3-4; Acts 8:26; Rev. 1:1 What are some functions of angels?
[“man” in Dan. 8:15; 9:21 and “human” in Dan. 10:16, 18 refers to the angel Gabriel. Angels can take the form of humans as seen in Gen. 18:1-2, 16, 22 with Gen. 19:1 and in Lk. 1:19, 26.].
[“Michael” in Dan. 10:13; 12:1 is a chief/great prince or archangel, Jude 1:9, who stands guard over the nation Israel, Dan. 10:21 and fights Satan and demons, Rev. 12:7.].
[“prince of Persia and of Greece” in Dan. 10:13, 20 means high-ranking demons assigned to nations by Satan to oppose godly forces and influences. Since humans can’t physically fight angels, who are spirit beings, these “princes” have to be demon forces. In Ephesians 6:12, four different ranks of demons are listed.].
Rev. 5:2; Dan. 10:10-13, 20-21 What do these verses imply about the strength of angels?
What significance might this have in relationship to answers or delayed answers to our prayers to God?
Rev. 7:1-3 What can angels do to the wind circuits of the earth?
What else can they do to the earth, sea, and trees?
What does this tell you about their power?
Rev. 8:6-7 What does this tell you about angels and judgments upon the earth?
Are you beginning to see the wide array of tasks assigned by God to angels?
Rev. 12:7-9 What will take place between the good and evil angels in the end time?
But which are stronger and win?
How do you feel about all this, and why?
Rev. 14:6-7 What did this angel do?
What does this imply when Christians have the attitude that they’re doing God a favor by evangelizing?
What else do angels do in Revelation 14:8-10?
Rev. 14:17-20 With what else are angels involved?
And what else in Revelation 16:1-12?
What do you think of angels now, and why?
Rev. 17:1, 3; 21:9-10 What else can angels do (Acts 8:39-40)?
What do you think about this?
Rev. 20:1-3 What will an angel do here?
What does this show you about the strength or authority of some angels?
Rev. 22:16 Who sent His angel to testify to John the things recorded in the book of Revelation for the church to have and know?
Do you see how angels are used by God and Jesus to communicate info to selected people?
Lk. 1:11-20 What are several things you learn about this angel from Lk. 1:19?
Lk. 2:8-15 What do you learn about angels from this passage?
Matt. 4:11 What did angels do here?
Had you ever realized that angels help with people’s needs (e.g., providing food, water, physical assistance, etc., 1 Kings 19:3-8)?
Matt. 28:1-7 What did the angel do here, and what did he look like?
How do you feel about this scene, and why?
Acts 1:10-11 What do angels appear as/look like at times?
What was their function here?
2 Thes. 1:6-7 How will Christ return at His second coming?
What adjective describes His angels?
Matt. 13:30, 36-43, 47-50 What will angels do at the end of the age at Christ’s second coming?
What affect does knowing this have on you, and why?
Gen. 24:7, 40 What would an angel do for Abraham’s servant?
Did you ever think that God would use His angels for tasks like this?
[Notice that God brought a wife to Isaac rather than Isaac searching, dating around, and choosing one for himself.].
Does this encourage you to trust and wait upon God to bring a mate to you, if it’s His will for you to be married, and why?
1 Ki. 19:3-8 What did an angel provide for Elijah after Elijah had run away for his life?
What does this show you about God’s angels?
Psa. 91:11-12; Matt. 4:6 What was one of the functions of angels while Jesus was here on earth?
Heb. 1:7 God uses angels as His instruments to carry out His will. How are angels used?
Angels blend their mutable/changeable natures (forms) with winds and fire as they perform God’s tasks.
[Similar to God’s inhabiting fire – Ex. 3:2; 13:21; 19:18].
Had you ever thought that wind or fire could be the cloak of angels to either destroy or protect?
Heb. 1:14 What are all angels?
If you’re a Christian/believer, does this verse comfort and/or encourage you, and why?
Could this, along with Matt. 18:10, be the basis for the idea that we have guardian angels?
Dan. 6:21-22 What did an angel do?
Do you see how God uses angels to protect His people (if He wants them protected because at times it’s His will not to protect them, e.g., Job. 1, 2; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; 10:23-27; Acts 12:2)?
How does this make you feel?
Lk. 16:22 What did the angels do?
Will angels be carrying your spirit/soul to heaven?
Acts 5:19-20 What did an angel of the Lord do?
How does knowing this affect you, and why?
Acts 10:3-5, 22, 30 What did a holy angel direct Cornelius to do?
What did this angel look like?
Acts 12:7-10 What comments by the angel showed concern for Peter’s well-being?
What traits and/or abilities do angels have?
Heb. 13:2 What is one reason we should be hospitable to traveling believers?
What did the visiting angels look like and do in Gen. 18:2, 8, 16, 22; 19:1-3?
What did these angels do to the wicked men in Gen. 19:11?
What were these angels going to do to the city of Sodom in Gen. 19:13?
What did the angels do to Lot, his wife, and daughters in Gen. 19:15-17?
Has your view of angels changed as a result of this study thus far?
If so, how?
2 Sam. 24:14-17 What does this angel do in judgment for David’s sin?
2 Chron. 32:20-22 What does an angel do, and why?
Do you see how God protects in answer to prayer?
Acts 12:21-23 What did an angel of the Lord do to Herod, and why?
Rev. 9:15-19 What do these angels do?
Do you see how frequently angels carry out God’s judgment upon evil people?
Job 4:17-18 Can angels err?
How might this relate to 1 Corinthians 6:3?
How do you feel about our judging angels, and why?
Isa. 6:1-3 What stood above God, Who sat on His throne in heaven?
Two wings covering their faces symbolize humility and two wings covering their feet symbolize respect. What do they do in Isaiah 6:3?
What does one of them do in verses Isaiah 6:6-7?
[This symbolizes that Isaiah has been forgiven of his sins, and the angel does this to prepare Isaiah for serving God.].
Matt. 26:52-53 For what could more than 72,000 angels have been deployed?
Lk. 12:8-9 Those who confess/acknowledge/witness about Jesus before people will have Jesus confessing/acknowledging them before whom?
Do you think the judgment scene in Matt. 25:31-32 could be the place this takes place?
Heb. 2:16-17 For whom didn’t Jesus come to help/save/forgive?
[The descendants of Abraham here is speaking of all true believers – Rom. 4:16; 2:28-29].
Therefore, do fallen/rebellious angels or the devil have a chance to be saved (also see Matt. 25:41)?
1 Pet. 1:10-12 Into what do angels long to look (have an intense wondering interest in)?
Why do you think angels are so interested in the salvation of sinful human beings (Eph. 3:8-10)?
Are you caught up with the awe/wonder and wisdom of God and heavenly/spiritual things (Col. 3:2-3) rather than with earthly things like sports, secular education, cars, homes, careers, possessions, family, money, computers, etc., and why?