What Does the Bible Say About Angels?
What do you think of when you hear the word “angels”? Maybe you picture halos, wings, and white robes. Despite what movies and TV shows want you to think, there’s a lot more to angels than that! The only trustworthy information about angels comes from God’s Word, and that’s where we’re taking you this week.
Discover the true nature, activities, and importance of angels in this program, part 1 of a 2-part series on angels and demons. Chris teaches us what these messengers and agents of God do in our world today and what makes them so different from you and me. You’ll also enjoy hearing about Gabriel and Michael, the most well-known biblical angels, and what they do in Scripture. Don’t miss this exciting program!
Steve Conover: Welcome to the Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is our host and teacher, Chris Katulka. We're so glad you chose to join us today. We're starting a two-part series on angels.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, we're going to be looking at a biblical understanding of angels and demons. So this week we're going to start with angels, next week is demons. You're going to want to come back for that. But before we move forward, I want to encourage our radio and podcast listeners to visit our website, foiradio.org.
Steve Conover: Yes, we have years' worth of Chris' teachings on the scripture and interviews with special guests from the field and others. Don't forget, while you're there, you can support us, support this ministry, by clicking on the Donate button to help continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Visit foiradio.org. Again, that's foiradio.org.
In the news, The Jerusalem Post reports the largest hospital in Greece will take part in clinical trials of an Israeli treatment for COVID-19. During the press conference, Netanyahu held up a vial he dubbed the miracle drug adding, "If you're infected by corona and are seriously ill and have a lung problem, take this, inhale it, and you will come out feeling good."
Chris Katulka: Steve, this is amazing. The trial phase of this drug is incredibly promising. 29 out of 30 mild to severe cases of COVID-19 were cured within three days, and just a few days later, all 30 were cured. The vaccine is vital. Actually, Israel, which is a great test subject for what the vaccine can do globally is seeing a 94% decline in COVID-19 cases because of the vaccine, so it's vital, but there's still a small chance that you could catch coronavirus after your inoculation. But this miracle drug, as Benjamin Netanyahu called it, will help those the vaccine couldn't protect. I have to be honest, it doesn't surprise me one bit as somebody who's been following Israeli technology, Israeli medicine. They're geniuses over there. I am not surprised that this new drug was developed In Israel.
So today we're going to start a two-part series on angels and demons, and I'm not talking about some Dan Brown novel. I'm talking about what the Bible teaches about angels and demons. These are real created beings. As C. Fred Dickason writes, "The fact that angels exist is as certain as the fact that God exists." We often get our knowledge and understanding of angels from Hollywood, those old shows like Highway to Heaven or Touched by an Angel, or even an old movie that I grew up with, Angels in the Outfield. That's right, angels helping the Los Angeles Angels win baseball games. Either way, we can't deny Hollywood has definitely shaped the culture and theology of angels the way that the world views them today, which isn't good because Hollywood doesn't define what angels are; the Scriptures do.
Angels are seen in every aspect of the Bible. Did you know that? From the law when the angel appeared to Balaam and his donkey in the Book of Numbers to Israel's history when the angel directed David to build an altar on the site where the temple would be built; to the prophets like Isaiah who made reference to angels defending Israel; to the books of poetry like Psalms where God's angels are seeing protecting His people from harm. Even in the New Testament, angels are heralding the coming of the Messiah Jesus. Angels are calling for Jesus' second coming in the Book of Acts. In the New Testament letters, in Revelation, angels are agents of God worshiping the lamb.
So what are these characters in the Bible that can be seen from the beginning in Genesis all the way to the end in the Book of Revelation? Well, simply put, angels, like mankind, were created to serve God. Angels were created to honor and to worship their creator. This doesn't mean that they were created to do whatever they please. Angels were created to serve the Lord. In fact, they have great powers, but they have limitations in their intellect and holiness. As God's creatures, they are morally answerable to God. They have a moral responsibility to their creator. Angels are spirit beings. They technically have no bodily form, but when they do appear, they can come in the form of man. We'll look at that a little bit later.
Now, angelic creatures understand God as the source of their powers, and you can hear that in their confession when they cry out ... You might've heard this before ... "Holy Holy, Holy is the Lord, God Almighty. You created all things, and because of you, they exist and were created." That's a powerful confession from an angelic being. Charles Hodge, a very famous theologian, wrote, "The power of angels is therefore dependent, which must be exercised in accordance with the laws of the material and spiritual world. Angels intervention is not optional, but permitted or commanded by God and at His pleasure." What the famous theologian is saying is that angels are created beings whose power is derived from God himself, and their duties are commanded by God to fulfill His will.
So if angels and men are both created beings ... this is a great question ... well, what's the difference between them? Well, angels are, like I said, primarily spirit beings while man is both spirit and flesh. Now, again, angels have the capacity to manifest themselves in any way, but the truth is they are definitely spirit beings. What's interesting is that mankind, we know from the Scriptures, mankind is a little lower than the angels in that they're weaker and subject to death. However, believers who are in Christ, are positionally above angels. The Apostle Paul writes that those who are in Christ, he writes this, are above angels. In fact, angels are higher than we are in the order of creation according to Psalm 8:4-6, but they are commissioned to help us in ways beyond our understanding so that we might reach our heavenly inheritance.
There are even different classes of angels with different jobs. The first is the cherubim. The cherubim are proclaimers and protectors of God's glorious physical presence, His sovereignty, His holiness. Cherubim are seen standing at the gate east of Eden preventing Adam and Eve from entering into the Garden of Eden after their rebellion. Do you remember that? That's the cherubim. They were protecting God's holiness, His physical presence. The image of a cherubim can be found embroidered on the tabernacle and temple veil, and their wings even spread across the arc of the covenant. That's all connected to God's physical presence, His holiness, His glory. The cherubim were not only present in the beginning protecting God's presence, but they were also present in the New Testament, proclaiming God's glory. I love studying the cherubim ]]. Connecting, protecting the very physical presence of God.
There's another class called Seraphim, which are another class of angelic forces. Seraphim means “burning ones,” which probably speaks more of their burning devotion to God. They perform priestly-like services for God and their goal is to reveal the Lord's holiness and our moral standing before God. Here's what that means: In the scriptures, the Seraphim proclaimed that man must be cleansed of sin's moral defilement before he or she can even stand before God and serve Him. That's the Seraphim that proclaim that, which is a very priestly role.
Look, the reality is angels are primarily created to worship and praise God. Just think about Isaiah's amazing vision of the Seraphim hovering on either side of Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as they cry out, "Holy Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory." See, the Seraphim, the burning ones, are showing their ministry here as they're revealing God's holiness is sovereignty. In light of that, it causes us, think about this, to take inventory on our shortcomings. Do you remember when Isaiah was brought into the presence of the Lord and the angels are singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy," that he sees the physical presence of God and the only thing that Isaiah can do is say, "I am a man of unclean lips?" He can only take light of his own moral shortcomings, and that's amazing. That's amazing because that's what happens here when we see ourselves in light of the holiness of who God is and the Seraphim announce that.
But see, angels can also be seen as ministers serving God's creation. As I said earlier, they have a priestly function. In Hebrews 1:7, they're seen serving the people of God. It also shows that angels have been seen as messengers of God. They carry or convey the message of the Lord to His creation. Angels have the ability, which is just amazing, to control nature and nations. That's right, angels are seen controlling the wind and seas in the Book of Revelation, which in the book of Daniel, angels are noted for controlling the nations around them, protecting God's people. Their object is to glorify God's name, but they are also physically preserving God's own for what's coming in the future. Don't forget this: angels are also seen in the end times acting as agents of God to accomplish His judgments on earth.
We have our Lookup Conference that's coming up pretty soon and I'm actually going to be teaching on the judgments of God. It's there that you see the angels pouring out the bowls of God’s wrath or the trumpets that are being announced come as an angelic agent of God bringing this judgment. So be sure to go to lookup.foi.org, if you want to find out more information on how you can be a part of that conference. But even angels are a part of God's judgment, that great tribulation that's coming in the future angels. Angels are created beings designed to serve as agents of God. Angels are seen in every stage of biblical history. They're seen in the birth of Jesus, His announcement. They're seen in His resurrection. Angels are present in every way possible throughout the Scriptures.
Now, listen, not only are there different types of angels, but there are specific angels with different names and divine purposes. But before I get to those specific angels that we see throughout the scriptures, I want to share with you a book about angels that we have here at the Friends of Israel called Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels by Dr. Renald Showers. Listen, we only have a few minutes to teach just for a moment on the theology of angels and demons, but there is so much to know, so much depth to understanding these amazing creatures that God created to protect us that are protecting the nation of Israel, that are actively working today behind the scenes in the spirit world that we just can't see. There's so much that you can know from the scriptures that we can't really even tap into during this time, in this brief moment that we have teaching. That's why I want to encourage you to get Dr. Rennie Shower's book, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels. It's in this book that you will be able to dive deeper into the study of angels and demons.
Steve Conover: To purchase your copy of Dr. Renald Showers' book, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels, visit us at foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org. Or, you can call our listener line at 888-343-6940, and someone will return your call during our regular business hours, Monday through Friday. That's 888-343-6940. To order in Canada, call 888-664-2584. Again, in Canada, that's 888-664-2584.
Chris Katulka: We're talking all about angels, and we know from scripture that there are myriads and myriads of angels, but of all those invisible beings, only two are actually specifically named in the scriptures. Other angels are named in extra-biblical Jewish literature, but in the Scriptures, Michael and Gabriel are specifically named. Michael, which means “who is like God” in the Hebrew, it's Mikha'el, Michael's name alone, who is like God, is a testament to the fact that he is devoted to serve God to fulfill His will, not his own. Unlike Satan, who himself was a created angel, whose pride corrupted him when he said, "I will make myself like the Most High God." You can read that in Isaiah 14:14, and that's what we're going to be talking about next week. Michael doesn't want to be God. He wants to serve God. Who is like God, Mikha'el.
So before I gave my life to Christ ... I want to share this ... when I was younger, I grew up in a Catholic family and I attended Catholic school. The name of my school was Saint Michael: The Archangel. Well, that's exactly what Michael is. He's an angel, he's an archangel. Daniel 10:13 designates him, Michael, as one of the chief princes as if he belongs to a group of angels who bear his same title. What I love about Michael is that his task, his calling as an angel, his mission is one that I can definitely get behind because it's a passion that I share with him. Michael is assigned as an angel by God to specifically protect the nation of Israel. You can read that in Daniel chapter 10, verses 13, 20, and 21. We see that Michael is endowed with the authority from God, standing for God's people, Israel, and opposing God's enemies.
As specifically appointed the guardian of Israel, Michael defends God's chosen people even in the future tribulation when Israel will be persecuted by Satan and the kingdoms of the world. Revelation Chapter 12 shows us this cosmic battle that happens between Michael and his army over Satan, and in the end, Michael's victory gives way to all ultimately Christ's return to earth, the ultimate victor. So it's amazing here to see Michael's ministry to Israel.
Look, there's even some amazing application for Michael's ministry in relationship to our life. In Jude's New Testament letter, Michael is seen debating with Satan. Listen to what Jude 9 says: " But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses' body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, 'May the Lord rebuke you!'" Listen, for as powerful as Michael, the archangel, is, in a heated debate with Satan, notice, Michael didn't attempt to take Satan on mano y mano. Michael did something I think we need to take into account as we look at our own lives. Michael didn't rely on his own strength, but gave Satan over to the Lord. "May the Lord rebuke you, Satan."
Michael, the archangel, defender of Israel. Listen, if I were an angel, I'd want to be in his elite forces. The Scriptures also mention by name Gabriel. Gabriel means “mighty one of God.” In the Book of Daniel, Gabriel is seen flying quickly to Daniel, which reveals this incredible strength that he has. He flies quickly because he is a messenger of God. The gospel of Luke highlights this fact when Gabriel says, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God," Luke 1:19. He is a messenger with a special and important message of God. He has permanent, think about this, he has permanent access to God's presence as His messenger angel.
Now, remember, earlier in the previous segment I mentioned that angels can appear in bodily form even though they're spirit beings. Well, in the Book of Daniel, Gabriel is seen as one who comes in the appearance of a man and spoke with a man's voice, and even when Mary encountered him. She didn't seem frightened by his appearance in any way. As God's messenger, Gabriel communicates God's kingdom program. He was the angel that gave Daniel the vision of the 70 Weeks in Daniel Chapter 9. The 70th Week of Daniel, as it's called, details in description God's plan to establish His kingdom on earth. It gives a timeframe that includes the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the death of Christ, the antichrist, the future tribulation period that eventually gives way to the glorious coming kingdom of our Lord Jesus.
Daniel received this prophetic roadmap in Daniel Chapter 9, because of God's angelic messenger, Gabriel. Listen, angels play such a vital role in God's plan. They are working behind the scenes to protect and to serve us and our God. It's important that we study this incredible theology of angels, and I think it's going to be an important study next week as we look at demons as well.
Steve Conover: Thank you, Chris. As you said, there are things happening behind the scenes that we're unaware of, and that's fascinating to us. As humans, we don't see this world, but I'm wondering, how much of our attention or focus should be on angels in our Christian walk? What's a healthy balance for us?
Chris Katulka: Yeah, the writer of Hebrews actually calls out angel worship. The writer of Hebrews likes to mention that Jesus is better. Jesus is better than the old covenant. The new covenant is better than the old covenant. That Jesus is better than Moses. There's this aspect that Jesus is better. But in the very beginning, in Hebrews Chapter 1, we have this picture where the writer of Hebrews has to say Jesus is better than even angels. I think we have to have a healthy understanding that just as we've been created to worship and serve our God, angels, in the same way, were created. They're created beings. I'm often reminded several times throughout the scriptures, when a man sees an angel, an angel often has to look at that man and say, "Don't worship me. I'm not the creator." So there is a healthy balance that has to be there to know that they've been created to serve God, just as we've been created to serve God.
Steve Conover: Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor Zvi Kalisher.
Mike Kellogg: Recently, I was in the army again. Usually, when we are on watch, nights are long, since there is nothing to do and we are not allowed to sleep. One night, I was on watch with some religious Jews, who had many stories to tell, so the hours slipped by quickly. The first story was about a 90-year-old blind man. In a dream, an angel asked why he did not read the Psalms. The man told the angel he could not read because he was blind. When the angel asked him what he wanted, the blind man requested sight so he could read the Psalms. Each soldier told a story. When they had all finished, they looked at me and asked, "Have you anything to say?" I knew this was a special opportunity for the Lord. I told them all those stories were merely dreams. "What I will now read for you is true," I said.
"Where is this written?" one demanded. I opened my small Bible and read from Matthew 20, where two blind men cried out, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David," and Jesus caused them to see. "This was not a dream," I told them. I then read Acts 3:6, where Peter said to the lame man, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. The lame man arose and walked." When I finished, one declared, "You have gone too far. How can you say the name of Jesus in our presence? You speak about him as if he were holy." "He is holy," I replied, "and he always will be. He is everlasting." "If you continue to speak of him, you will have trouble from us," someone warned. "I am not afraid of you," I replied. "You are afraid of the truth so you speak of dreams and make them seem like facts. When I read the Scripture, you all trembled with fear. I told you facts, not dreams."
"Why do you not believe what our rabbis have written?" one asked. "Because they are stories from their dreams," I replied. "I believe in one God and what is written in His Bible because it was written through the Holy Spirit, not by people who took their stories from dreams. Show me where the rabbi stories are written in the Bible." "Hah, now we are equal," one said, "because there's nothing written about Jesus in the Bible either." So I turned to Proverbs 30:4, "Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name and what is His Son's name, if you know?" and then I read Daniel 3:25, "Look, I see four men walking in the midst of the fire. They are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
This was all new to these soldiers. They had been in darkness for so long, but now they were beginning to see the light. I thank the Lord that he uses every situation to glorify Himself. Out of their stories came my opportunity to testify for the Lord. He can accomplish that which is impossible for us. I pray for these soldiers as they have been confronted with the truth.
Steve Conover: Thank you for joining us today as we heard the first part of our study on Angels: Fact Or Fiction.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, next week we're going to be looking at demons actually, those invisible spirits that are called demons. And where did they come from? Did God create demons? These are great questions. I want you to come back next week so that you can hear what the Scriptures have to say.
Steve Conover: Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold, and I'm Steve Conover, executive producer. Our mailing address is FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Once again, that's FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. One last quick reminder to visit us at foiradio.org. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels
By Renald Showers
What people believe about angels and what the Bible says about them are two very different things! In Dr. Renald Showers’s detailed study, you’ll learn the truth about angels, including:
• What angels are
• How holy angels and evil angels spend their time
• How angels interact with you
You’ll be surprised at what you learn about these mysterious beings! Grab your copy now!
IN CANADA? ORDER HERE!
Apples of Gold: No Dreams—Just Facts
While Zvi was serving in the Israeli Defense Force, he was on night duty with some religious soldiers. Nighttime watch can be very boring, so to pass the time, these men told stories. When Zvi got a chance to speak, the men got into a spirited conversation about Jesus. They were all amazed to see that Jesus was not only found in the New Testament Scriptures but also all throughout the Old Testament. Listen how Zvi boldly but gently spoke to these curious soldiers.
Zvi’s story is available in Elwood McQuaid’s book, “Zvi: The Miraculous Story of Triumph over the Holocaust,” available at our online store.
More stories from Zvi are also available in his book, “The Best of Zvi,” available at our online store.
The Friends of Israel Today and Apples of Gold theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
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