Sermons and Papers

A Biblical Look at Angels

A Timely Bible Study

by Rev. Paul A. Bartz

The word angel means simply messenger in both Hebrew and Greek. Hence the word angel is not used exclusively of spirit beings in Holy Scripture. To whom does the word angel refer in Revelation 2:1 (and 2:8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, and 14; hint: substitute the word angel with the meaning of the word)?

However, today when we use the word angel, we usually think of the invisible spirit beings that serve God. Based on John 1:1-3, Revelation 19:10 and Genesis 1:31-2:2, what can we say about the origin of angels?

How many angels are there, according to texts like Deuteronomy 33:2 and Daniel 7:10?

However, not all angels are good angels. Luke 10:17-18 recounts the 72 disciples joy over the fact that the Lord had given them power over evil spirits and our Lords reply to them about the devils fall. Based on the information provided by Genesis 3:1-7, in what time period of earthly history can we place Satan's fall?

According to our Lords words in John 8:44, what was Satan's sin?

What additional light does 1 Timothy 3:6 shed of Satan's sin?

What additional details are provided about the events surround Satan's sin in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6?

Well get back to Satan and the evil angels later. What single word in Mark 8:38 tells us clearly what is only hinted at or assumed in other passages about the good angels ability to fall into sin?

How is this teaching confirmed by our Lord in Luke 20:34-36?

What comfort does the teaching that the good angels are no longer capable of sin (confirmed in their holiness), provide for us?

Though angels are spiritual beings, they can appear in human form and participate in human activities (Genesis 19:1-5). What kinds of human activities do they participate in in Genesis 18:1-8?

What is the reason given for showing hospitality to strangers, according to Hebrews 13:1-2?

It is interesting to note that angels are never described in Scripture as appearing in female form, and as we shall see, all the angels named in Scripture have masculine names. What additional information about this is provided by our Lord in Matthew 22:30?

Psalm 103:20 suggests that angels have great power. How do 2 Thessalonians 1:7 and Revelation 10:1 confirm this conclusion?

What additional attributes do angels possess, according to 2 Samuel 14:17-20?

However, angels are not God and have limitations. What limitations are mentioned in Matthew 24:36 and 1 Peter 1:12?

Why can't the angels understand the Gospel as well as we do?

According to Luke 1:19 and Matthew 18:10, what limitations do angels not have that we do?

Gods comforting promise in Psalm 34:7 (and found in other verses as well), is the basis of which teaching?

Matthew 18:10 speaks of guardian angels which gets us into the topic of what angels do for a living. This suggests that our guardian angels are with us at all times, including where, according to 1 Corinthians 11:2-10?

Make a list of what angels do, based on the Scriptures we have already looked at. Then add to your list, based on the Bible passages below.

  • Luke 16:22:
  • Matthew 13:39-49:
  • Matthew 24:31:
  • Acts 12:23:
  • Jude 9:
  • Isaiah 6:2-3:
  • Luke 15:10:
  • Zechariah 1:12:
  • 1 Kings 19:5-8:
  • 2 Samuel 24:16:
  • Matthew 4:11:

Scripture mentions different kinds of angels. Perhaps these various kinds of angels have different jobs. However, Scripture is not clear about this or about how the various kinds of angels relate to each other. What kind of angel is mentioned in Genesis 3:24, and what is his task?

How about Psalm 80:1?
What do both angels have in common?

What kind of angel is mentioned in Isaiah 6:2-3 and what are they doing? (Note: this is the only place these are mentioned by name in the Bible.)

What kind of angel is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 9?
Is there a common element in what they are doing?

But what do good angels never do (that people do, and some even consider it a virtue), according to 2 Peter 2:4-11?

The angels were very visibly active in the life of the early church. What did an angel do according to Acts 5:19-20?

In Acts 8:26-31?

What do you notice is different about these encounters with angels from the experience of Zechariah (Luke 1:11-12), Mary (Luke 1:26-30)?

What does 1 Corinthians 4:9 teach us about the angels interest in the Church?

Angels are all around us carrying out their missions, even if we don't normally see them. We see a rare instance of how the reality of angels can become visible to us (even if you are a donkey!), if it is God's will in Numbers 22:22-35.

God's people recognize that angels are present especially at times of spiritual challenge. The prophet Elisha realized this as the King of Aram sought his life. How did he comfort his servant in 2 Kings 6:15-18?

All that we have studied so far is good knowledge to be armed with for our look at the evil angels. This is necessary, for they are not only the enemies of God, but of His people. Unless we know our enemy's nature and tactics, we will be defenseless against him. What primary lesson do we learn about the evil angels contact with believers in Job 1:6-12 and Job 2:1-6?

The devil's strategy against Job (and God!), in the Job text is also found in Zechariah 3:1. What is he doing here?

This activity on the part of the devil suggests one of his descriptive names, which is found in Revelation 12:7-12. What is that name?

Jesus gives the devil another title (and in doing so explains what the previous text we looked at is talking about), in John 12:30-31. Jesus makes the same reference to the devil in John 14:30. What is the title?

We receive some insight into the meaning of this title in Jesus' temptation. What do the devil's own words in Luke 4:5-7 tell us about this title?

What information do our Lord's words to Saul in Acts 26:17-18 add about Satan's rulership?

What is one of the ways in which the devil maintains this rulership, according to 2 Corinthians 4:3-4?
What is yet another title for him that we find in these verses?

In speaking of false religions and true Christianity, and mixing elements of both together in 1 Corinthians 10:21-22, Paul gives us insight into who those false religions actually worship. Who do followers of false religion actually worship?

In Luke 11:15 we learn that there are ranks among the demons. What name is given here to their leader?

The name Beelzebub is actually a mocking parody on one of the popular false gods of the Old Testament. Baal-Zebul meant Exalted Baal or Prince Baal while Beelzebub means Lord of the Flies. However, this being is no laughing matter. Ephesians 6:10-12 sums up for us one of the devil's primary missions. What is it?

What is one method the devil uses to do this, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10?

Since God is more powerful than the devil, and God wants all men to be saved, why can the devil get away with this according to the above text?

What is one method the devil uses to keep those who have heard God's Word under his influence, according to our Lord in Mark 4:13-15?

However, sometimes the devil is not successful at stealing the Word of God from a person, and the person might believe the Gospel. So the devil might try the tactic he used on Jesus in Matthew 4:5-6. What did he do here?

1 Timothy 4:1-5 clearly speaks of the devil's activity within the church. Are the demons mentioned here acting directly or through some means, and if so, what means?

What errors in teaching are specifically mentioned here?

Luther once wrote that wherever God builds His Church, the devil sets up his chapel right next door. We know that the devil has demons who joined in his rebellion. How may their number be characterized, based on what Mark 5:1-13?

How do the devil and his human servants disguise their activity according to 2 Corinthians 11:13-15? What does this mean?

This should not surprise us because of what our Lord tells of the devil's character. What does our Lord warn about the devils character in John 8:44?

The devil and his evil angels usually work through means, including deceived and deceiving people. Paul mentions this source of the false and misleading teaching within the Church as well as its general impact on Christians lives in Ephesians 6:10-18. How does Paul refer to the demonic forces here?

What are our best strategies for overcoming these forces, according to this text?

2 Corinthians 4:1-4 tells us why some refuse to believe the Gospel when they hear it. Why don't they believe?

Why is the devil allowed to do this, according to Ephesians 4:17-19?

What is another strategy the devil uses when working both within and outside the Church, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12?

In Matthew 13:18-19, our Lord reveals the devil's goal in working among Christians. What is it?

What surprising truth about demons is revealed to us in James 2:19?

But the devil does not work only in the Church. What is another of his strategies that we see in Acts 16:16-18?

What are some modern examples of this method of working?

In Isaiah 47:12-15 God condemns as the devil's work what other popular activity?

What is the devil's end, according to Revelation 20:7-10?

With what can we comfort ourselves until that time, according to 1 Corinthians 15:54-58?

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