Do you believe in angels?
Do you know who they are, or what they do?
Are they just figments of the artists’ imagination in religious paintings down the centuries?
Is there really something out there we ought to know about? Is it important to know if they exist?
The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger’. In the Old Testament, with two exceptions, the Hebrew word for “angel” is malak, also meaning ‘messenger’. The prophet Malachi took his name from this word. He was himself a messenger, and he prophesied about the coming of “the messenger of the covenant”, Jesus Christ (Malachi 3:1).
Although the word “angel” in the Bible, meaning a messenger, nearly always applies to heavenly beings, it can occasionally apply to human messengers. Malachi himself said a priest was a messenger (malak) of the Lord of hosts (Malachi 2:7), and in the Book of Revelation the elders of the seven churches of Asia were called angels (1:20; 2:1 etc.). But when we meet messengers doing supernatural things, there is no doubt they are heavenly beings – God’s messengers, working for Him and for the ultimate benefit of mankind.
God as Creator is so powerful and glorious that He cannot be approached in person by human beings. He alone “hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). Angels do not have man’s shortcomings, and can therefore act for God and represent Him when communicating with men and women. They bridge the huge gap between the holiness and perfection of God in heaven and the shortcomings of dying people on this planet. Angels were made immortal (that is, never to die). Their eternal quality was spoken of by Jesus when he said:
“They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:35,36)
Jesus was saying that, in the same way as the angels (the children or “sons” of God) live for ever and are of one gender, so those who will be called the “sons” and “daughters” of God when Jesus returns will also live for ever and will not marry.
Having been brought into existence by God, the angels are called the “sons of God”. In an example of this, God described to the patriarch Job the creation of the earth, and asks him:
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? … Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)
These “sons of God” were there working for the Almighty. The Creator commanded, and the tasks were carried out. As Psalm 33 says, “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (33:9). The Lord only had to speak the word and the angels responded; and what they did, they did well – which is why the record in Genesis 1 repeatedly says that “God saw that it was good”. Good, because “a faithful messenger refreshes the soul of the master who sends him” (Proverbs 25:13).
Equally amazing is a prophecy in the Old Testament of the Bible which tells us that just before the return of Jesus to the earth — “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” So the wonders of our hi-tech society, with instant communication, and speedy travel, are to the Bible student one of the many proofs that The Bible is true.
The Bible also points out that man’s capabilities are not boundless. In his pursuit of power, and his greed for personal wealth, man is ruining the world. Left to his own devices he would do irreparable damage to our beautiful planet. We read in Matthew’s Gospel “Except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” And so, man’s days of ruling the world are numbered.
Tomorrow’s world will be ruled by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As King, he will remove the existing world governments. Psalm 72 tells us that “ all kings shall fall down before him, and that “all nations shall serve him.” He will rule with honesty and truth over a new society in which his true disciples from all periods of world history will be changed into immortal beings.
With the Bible as your guide, you can find out how to be a part of that exciting new world.
Have you ever looked at the wonders of Nature and asked yourself “How did it all happen?”
What about the law of gravity, the order of day and night, the sequence of the seasons, the wonder of the star-filled sky?
Did it really just happen by itself? Or was it carefully created?
And what about us? Some people view everything – including human beings as a collection of atoms which came together by accident.
But when you look at the sheer complexity of say, the human body, it’s clear that if it just happened by chance, then there’s equally a chance that a lot of building materials, tipped and left in a field, could eventually come together and build themselves into a house. And yet even the tiniest insect is infinitely more complex than any house.
The Bible makes it quite clear that God is the Creator of the universe. It opens with the words: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
The order, the beauty, and the complexity of all forms of life are all due to Him. It didn’t come about by accident.
It just couldn’t, because chance never produces order. Always disorder.
So what does this mean, for us? Well, because God created everything with a purpose in mind, it means that world events, including our own lives, are all part of His great plan.
As the Bible tells us in many places throughout its pages, God intends to fill the earth with His glory, and to banish for ever the problems that beset the world today.
So, if it is all due to chance, the outlook really is bleak! But if you fear God, and are anxious to obey His Word, the whole outlook is transformed.
You have a hope.