Angels

A caution before beginning this study:

A. Paul warns us not to exceed what was written, 1 Corinthians 4:6

1. We must be careful not to be carried away by our own imaginations and the imaginations of others.

2. We must be careful not to put our own theories above the Bible

3. We must realize everything we want to know may not be answered.

B. We are told everything we need to know, 2 Peter 1:3

1. We are not told everything we want to know.

2. If we are not told, then we don’t need to know.

I. Preliminary Considerations

A. Meaning of the word “angel”

1. Hebrew – The word translated angel is malak which means: “messenger, representative” (Strong’s)

2. Greek—The word transliterated angel is ANGELOS which means: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent” (Strong’s)

B. The word “angel” is a transliteration of the Greek word ANGELOS (i.e., making an English word out of the Greek word instead of giving the meaning in English) which means messenger, just as “baptism” is a transliteration of BAPTIZO which means to dip, plunge, or immerse. The Hebrew word is translated by the transliteration from the Greek. If these words had been translated instead of transliterated many problems would never have existed.

C. The Hebrew and Greek words for angel are used to refer to more than just spiritual beings that serve God. Every word translated messenger or something similar in the following passages is the Hebrew or Greek word for angel:

1. Human messengers sent by David, 2 Sam. 2:5.

2. Haggai is referred to as a messenger, Haggai 1:13.

3. Malachi’s name means: “My messenger.”

4. Jesus is prophetically called the messenger of the covenant (i.e., angel of the covenant), Malachi 3:1. Note: this does not mean that Jesus was an angel as we typically think of them or that He is a created being. It just shows that part of Jesus’ mission was to bring a message.

5. John the Baptist is prophetically called a messenger or angel, Malachi 3:1, Matt. 11:10, Mark, 1:1-4

6. Messengers sent by John the Baptist, Luke 7:24

7. Messengers sent ahead by Jesus to the Samaritans, Luke 9:52

D. There is nothing inherent in the Hebrew or Greek word for angel that means a spiritual being serving God. Often, these words do refer to a spiritual being serving God, but this is determined from the context, not the meaning of the words.

II. Origin

A. There is more we do not know, than we do know.

B. There is a lot more God could have said, but didn’t.

1. We need to accept this.

2. What God gave us about angels we can take and learn from, 2 Peter 1:3

C. They are created beings: Colossians 1:16, Nehemiah 9:6, Revelation 4:9-11

1. They seem to have been created before the physical world, Job 38:1-7.

2. They are not the souls of Christians or Godly people.

In Matthew 22:30, Jesus teaches we will be like angels, not become angels.

D. They are innumerable: Daniel 7:10, Hebrews 12:22

1. This illustrated the tremendous power God has.

2. It shows the full compliment of workers to do His bidding.

3. All of the work of God that needs to be done from the sustaining of the universe to the working in the affairs of men.

III. Nature

A. We are told they are spirit beings.

1. Hebrews 1:14, they are ministering spirits.

2. Their normal form is not fleshly (1 Corinthians 15:40).

3. They can take on human characteristics and do human things, but their normal state is a spirit state.

B. The Scriptures teach they are above men, Hebrews 2:6-7 (quoting from Psalm 8:4)

1. In Psalms it is talking about mankind

2. In Hebrews it is talking about Christ

3. Also: 2 Peter 2:11

4. Yet, we will judge angels—1 Corinthians 6:3

C. They have tremendous power: 2 Peter 2:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Kings 19:35

D. Angels are not omniscient

1. They do not know when the second coming will be, Matthew 24:36.

2. They were eagerly waiting to see how God’s plan of salvation would unfold, 1 Peter 1:12.

3. They are only intelligent in the areas in which there was revelation from God.

4. If God didn’t tell them anything, they wouldn’t know.

E. They are subject to the Godhead, 1 Peter 3:22

F. They have free will

1. Faithful angels are called holy Luke 9:26, 1 Timothy 5:21.

a. If there are holy angels there are unholy angels.

b. If there are unholy angels someone has exercised free will.

2. Some have chosen to be Satan’s angels

3. They can sin and will be punished for sin, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6

4. Unlike us, however, the Bible never speaks of any redemption or salvation for angels who sin.

G. There appears to be different ranks

1. Michael is call an archangel, Jude 9

a. Daniel 10:13

b. Note: one of the chief princes indicating there are more than one

2. Other than this, there is not a lot of Biblical evidence.

3. Some want to interject Cherubim and Seraphim into the ranks of angels, but the Bible never calls these creatures angels.

a. For us to call them angels is to put a label and description upon them that may not be right.

b. This leads us to another distinction—only cherubim and seraphim are described with wings, angels are never described with wings.

Conclusion:

A. Angels are created beings

1. They are spiritual beings

2. They are mighty beings

B. Angels show the might and power of God

C. Like us, Angels have free will and can sin.

1. We do not know if any chance of redemption is offered after they sin

2. There is an offer of redemption for us.

Satan: His Mission and Work

A caution before beginning this study:

A. Paul warns us not to exceed what was written, 1 Corinthians 4:6

1. We must be careful not to be carried away by our own imaginations and the imaginations of others.

2. We must be careful not to put our own theories above the Bible

3. We must realize everything we want to know may not be answered.

B. We are told everything we need to know, 2 Peter 1:3

1. We are not told everything we want to know.

2. If we are not told, then we don’t need to know.

 

I. Satan’s Mission

A. To destroy the entire human race

1. Job 1-2, look at what he does to the life of Job.

2. Beelzebub—the ruler of demons, Matthew 12:24, 17:14-18

B. To accuse humans of sin

1. “Satan” means to show enmity, or to accuse

2. Zechariah 3:1-4

 

II. Satan in Action

A. The Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:1-6

1. What Satan did, 3:1-5

a. The first thing Satan did was ask a question which raised doubt. This is how Satan works. All he has to do is raise doubt to destroy faith.

b. Satan lies to her by adding the word “not” to what God says.

c. Satan then implies that God is holding something back that Eve deserved: she could become God-like

2. How Eve responded, 3:6

a. Eve dwells on these thoughts, James 1:13-15

b. There are three basic temptations seen in this verse (cf. 1 Jhn. 2:16):

1) The lust of the flesh—it was good for food. It would provide pleasure.

2) The lust of the eyes—it was a delight to the eyes.

3) The boastful pride of life—it was desirable to make one wise

c. She encouraged Adam to sin

B. The Temptation of Jesus, Matthew 4:1-11

1. The first temptation, 4:3-4

a. Satan attacks Jesus where He is physically weakest

b. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3—God’s will is more important than good

2. The second temptation, 4:5-7

a. Satan quotes (Psalm 91:11, 12), but misapplies it.

b. Jesus responds: “It is written again,”

1) Vincent’s Word Studies:

Emphatic, meaning on the other hand, with reference to Satan’s it is written (ver. 6); as if he had said, “the promise which you quote must be explained by another passage of scripture.” Archbishop Trench aptly remarks, “In that ‘It is written again’ of Christ, lies a great lesson, quite independent of that particular scripture which, on this occasion, he quotes, or of the use to which he turns it. There lies in it the secret of our safety and defence against all distorted use of isolated passages in holy scripture. Only as we enter into the unity of scripture, as it balances, completes, and explains itself, are we warned against error and delusion, excess or defect on this side or the other. Thus the retort, ‘It is written again, ’ must be of continual application; for indeed what very often are heresies but one-sided, exaggerated truths, truths rent away indeed from the body and complex of the truth, without the balance of the counter-truth, which should have kept them in their due place, co-ordinated with other truths or subordinated to them; and so, because all such checks are wanting, not truth any more, but error.”

2) He quotes Deuteronomy 6:16

3. The third temptation, 4:8-10

a. Satan tempts Jesus through His mission

b. Jesus calls Satan for what he is and quotes Scripture again.

 

III. How Satan Works

A. He works primarily through deceptions:

1. Descriptions of Satan: the father of lies, a liar, John 8:44; the great dragon, the serpent of old, the deceiver of the whole word, Revelation 12:9-10

2. Delights in blinding the minds of the unbelieving that the light of the gospel should not dawn upon them, 2 Corinthians 4:4

3. He does not hesitate to appear as an angel of light along with his ministers who appear as minister of righteousness, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15

4. The Devil takes the gospel from the hearts of those who are not inclined, Luke 8:12

5. He has snares, 1 Timothy 3:7

6. He schemes, Ephesians 4:14, 6:11

B. He has spiritual beings who do his will

1. He has angels, Matthew 25:41

2. He has demons, Matthew 12:24

3. We battle against these beings, Ephesians 6:12

4. Daniel 10:4-7, 12-13—might be an example of these spiritual forces at work

C. Satan is limited in his actions

1. We sometimes give Satan more power than he deserves. He is not omniscient.

a. The only way he knows we have weaknesses is by observation.

b. James 1:13,14 say we are enticed by our own lusts.

2. Satan, by observation, knows where our weaknesses lie.

3. God has given us the ability to avoid temptations by not allowing their desire to dwell in our minds.

4. If we have carnal thoughts when we are alone, that is our own doing, cf. Micah 2:1

5. We yield to a sin because of our own lusts, not because Satan caused us to do it.

D. Satan is extremely effective even with these limitations

1. We do not want to underestimate his power! (1 Peter 5:8).

2. If, through observation, Satan knows that we have wandering eyes when we see a woman immodestly dressed, he will provide.

3. Satan can best answer the question: What will a man give for his soul?

 

Conclusion:

A. Satan wants to destroy the human race, especially Christians.

B. Satan works through deceptions and by providing opportunities for temptation.

C. We can overcome:

1. By being alert, 1 Peter 5:8

2. By resisting Satan and drawing near to God, James 4:7-8

3. By putting on the full of armor of God, Ephesians 6:13-17

Satan: His Nature, Origin, and Fall

A caution before beginning this study:

A. Paul warns us not to exceed what was written, 1 Corinthians 4:6

1. We must be careful not to be carried away by our own imaginations and the imaginations of others.

2. We must be careful not to put our own theories above the Bible

3. We must realize everything we want to know may not be answered.

B. We are told everything we need to know, 2 Peter 1:3

1. We are not told everything we want to know.

2. If we are not told, then we don’t need to know.

 

I. His Nature

A. Satan is a real being—he walks, talks, and presents himself to God (cf. Job 1:6-12).

B. Satan is an angelic being

1. The phrase “sons of God” only occurs 4 times in the Old Testament

a. Three times in Job: 1:6, 2:1, 38:7

b. One time in Genesis 6

c. Outside of Genesis 6 this phrase is indisputably known as referring to angels.

d. In Job 1:6 and 2:1, it talks of angels coming to report to God and Satan comes with them.

2. Satan is clearly an angel who has fallen.

Satan was probably a very powerful angel, Jude 8-9

C. Satan is not like God

1. He is not omnipresent—he has to walk around on the earth

a. He roams around seeking whom he may devour, 1 Peter 5:8

b. Satan can not work against every person at the same time—he cannot be everywhere at once

c. When we get near to God, Satan is removed from us, James 4:7

2. He is not all knowing—he thinks he can get Job to curse God, but Job never does.

a. He does not know what Job will do

b. He does not have the power to know what we are thinking.

3. He is not all powerful

a. He has to present himself to God, 1:6, 2:1

b. He has to ask God for permission to harm Job, Job 1:9-11, 2:4-5

4. He does not share in the moral nature of God: holiness, righteousness, justice, love, light, etc.

5. Without these, Satan has almost no characteristics of God whatsoever.

II. His Origin and Fall

A. Since Satan is not deity, he must be a created being, Colossians 1:16

1. Angels were probably created on the first day of Creation

Job 38:6-7 tells us they were singing at the creation of the earth

2. Everything God created was good, Genesis 1:31. Anything evil in God’s creation is absolutely denied at the very close of creation.

3. Satan was not created as Satan (i.e., an adversary), he was originally created good to serve God.

B. Satan is obviously no longer good—he must have fallen.

1. He was the first being to sin, 1 John 3:8

2. Two New Testament passages clearly hint at a rebellion in heaven:

a. 2 Peter 2:4

b. Jude 6

C. Passages that are thought to shed light on Satan’s fall, but do not on closer examination:

1. Isaiah 14:12-15—Lucifer (shining one or day star)

a. Context demands that “shining one” is referring to the king of Babylon (cf. 14:4)

b. He is called a man in verse 16.

c. There is nothing in this text that must refer to Satan, and no implication that it is talking of anyone other than the King of Babylon.

d. To apply to anything other than what Isaiah applied it to is to go beyond what was written (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:6).

2. Ezekiel 28:12-19

a. Nothing in this text gives any indication that it is alluding to Satan

b. The text states who the figure represents: the king of Tyre. To suggest anything beyond this is to go beyond Scriptural support.

c. Each description given can be applied to the illusionary visions of self-worth and grandeur of the king of Tyre

1) There is nothing that does not fit in this interpretation.

2) If everything can be applied to the king of Tyre, nothing demands that it is alluding to another being

d. Many points cannot be applied to Satan

1) The “mountain of God” is nowhere used to refer to heaven in the Scriptures

2) No Biblical passage describes Satan as a cherubim

3) The judgment described does not fit the judgment of Satan

4) Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, 279-280:

As for a relationship with Satan, there does not seem to be any decisive evidence in the text that the Prince of Hell is being indirectly addressed through the prince of Tyre. There is hardly a verse to be found that could be applied to the Devil alone rather than to the human rulers of the city itself. Certainly the theory advanced by some writers that this chapter contains a flashback to Satan’s personal career prior to his rebellion and expulsion from heaven is at best an unsupported conjecture. All the hyperbolic language employed in the verses discussed above can best be understood as the flattering self-delusion of the Tyrian millionaires and their money-loving leaders, whose concept of heaven rose no higher than their treasures of rubies and gold, and whose yardstick for virtue consisted of material wealth.

e. The view that these verses given us more information about the heart of Satan and the reason for his falls should be rejected.

3. Revelation 12:7-9

a. Remember the language of the Book of Revelation: it is symbolic language!

b. This is describing the battle between the church of Christ and Satan

1) When Satan is cast down, then the kingdom of God has come, 12:10.

a) Jesus came to destroy the work of Satan, 1 John 3:8.

b) Satan’s greatest power (i.e., to accuse God’s people of sin) was taken away.

c) In 12:13ff, Satan switches tactics by persecuting God’s people to discourage others from taking advantage of Christ’s work and to persuade men to fall away.

i. He cannot destroy the work of Christ this way either.

ii. He can cause some not to obey or to fall away, but not all.

2) They overcame by the blood of the lamb (12:11)

a) What does the blood of the Lamb have to do with a war in heaven?

b) This is describing the victory of believers over Satan’s attacks.

3) See also Luke 10:17-18, talks of Satan falling when the 70 Jesus sent to teach about the Kingdom came back and gave their report.

c. The best that can be said is that the fall of Satan might have served as the basis for the symbolic war described here, but even this is going beyond what the Scripture teaches.

Conclusion:

A. Satan is real—we need to be on the alert

B. God is more powerful that Satan—if we are on God’s side, there is no reason to fear the Devil

C. Satan and his angels show that we can lose our salvation and share in their fate, cf. Matthew 25:41

Demons

Introduction:

A. The study and thought of demons fascinates many. Demons are frequently feature on TV and in movies.

B. What we see in the New Testament, however, differs from the popular conceptions we see in the movies.

C. A caution before going farther:

1. Paul warns us not to exceed what was written, 1 Corinthians 4:6

a. We must be careful not to be carried away by our own imaginations and the imaginations of others.

b. We must be careful not to put our own theories above the Bible

c. We must realize everything we want to know may not be answered.

2. We are told everything we need to know, 2 Peter 1:3

a. We are not told everything we want to know.

b. If we are not told, then we don’t need to know.

D. When we look at what the Bible says, here is what we see:

I. Absence of explicit details concerning demons

A. There is practically no information about the origin, nature, characteristics, or habits of demons

1. We are not told what they look like

2. We are not told exactly what they are

B. What we do know:

1. Nature—they are spiritual

a. The word spirit with an identifying phrase is often used to identify a demon, cf. Acts 19:12-13

b. They can possess an individual—only a spiritual being could do this

2. Origin—Genesis 1

a. Everything was created by God

b. Everything created was good, Genesis 1:31

c. Demons as God’s creation sinned and turned against Him, just as Satan, angels, and man have done.

3. Characteristics

a. They can speak, Luke 8:31, Mark 1:24-26

b. They know Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Mark 1:24, Luke 4:41, Luke 8:28, James 2:19

c. They seem to crave embodiment, Matthew 12:43, Luke 8:31-33

 

II. Emphasis placed upon the moral character of demons

A. Many legends and myths consider demons morally indifferent (i.e., neither good nor evil).

B. The New Testament shows an ethically evil being.

1. Satan is their ruler, Matthew 12:27

2. They harm people

 

III. Absence in magical methods of any kind in dealing with demons

A. In ancient legends and modern beliefs demons are exorcised by a ritual or series of rituals.

Catholic priests have book known as the Roman Ritual that gives them the formula for exorcising a demon

B. No rituals are ever given in the New Testament

1. The only instructions given are: prayer and fasting, Mark 9:29

2. Saying the name of Jesus alone was sometimes (but not always) sufficient, Acts 19:13-17

3. The followers of the Pharisees were sometimes able to cast out demons, Matthew 12:27

 

IV. The range of activities attributed to demons is greatly restricted

A. In times past and today, people greatly fear demons and attribute great powers and abilities to them. Extra-canonical Jewish literature:

1. Demons were responsible for all sorts of ills of mind and body.

2. Swarming hosts of demons lie in wait for men and besiege them with attacks and ills of all descriptions

B. In the New Testament there are about 80 references to demons (including repetitions and figurative passages)

1. In 11 instances, the distinction between demon-possession and diseases ordinarily cause is clearly made:

a. Matthew 4:24

b. Matthew 8:16

c. Matthew 10:8

d. Mark 1:32, 34

e. Mark 6:13

f. Mark 16:17, 18

g. Luke 4:40, 41

h. Luke 9:1

i. Luke 13:31

j. Acts 19:12

2. Demon possession is not exclusively mental or nervous: Matthew 9:32-33, Mathew 12:22

3. Epilepsy is specified in only one case: Matthew 17:15, cf. Matthew 4:24

4. A distinction is made between diseases caused by demon possession and the same disease not caused by demons, compare Matthew 12:22 and 15:30

C. Other works of demons

1. They might promote idolatry, 1 Corinthians 10:20 (Old Testament quote)

2. They are necessary to Satan to extend his power since he is not omnipresent, cf. Ephesians 6:11-12

3. The might teach false doctrines, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, 1 John 4:1

4. They might attempt to instigate jealousy and factions, James 3:13-16

5. They sometimes act as fortune tellers, Acts 16:16

6. The might exercise influence in human governments, Ephesians 6:12, Daniel 10:13

 

V. Can demons still possess people today?

A. There are many who claim demon possession occurs today

1. Some think it is not recognized for what it is and is instead diagnosed as a mental disorder, however:

a. Demon possession was clearly recognized for what it was in the 1st Century. They knew when blindness was caused naturally and when it was demon possession-it was unmistakable.

b. Demon possession also gave great strength—insane people are clearly constrained today. They do not have the great strength that comes from demon possession.

c. Mental disorders are not they only way demon possession manifested itself—destruction of the body, great strength, etc.

2. Some believe it only occurs in third world countries where the gospel has had little impact, however, demons were able to enter those who were not wicked, cf. Mark 9:20-21.

B. There are many brethren who do not believe in demon possession today

1. No account of demon-possession occurs in the OT, nor is the belief expressed, verified, or discussed. If it was something that has always been, why didn’t it occur before the time of Jesus. This indicates demon-possession was for a specific time.

2. No gift of exorcism is mentioned in the New Testament; nor are there instructions for exorcism is discussed in the epistles or any of the writings outside of the Gospels.

3. It was prophesied to end: Zechariah 13:1-3, Prophets and unclean spirits to depart from the land (notice the context of “in that day” is clearly referring to the time of Christ).

a. This end was going to coincide with the end of supernatural gifts, cf. 1 Corinthians 13:8.

b. Sometimes in the Bible, when there is an increase of miraculous events from God, there is an increase of supernatural events by Satan

1) Moses vs. the Egyptian Magicians

2) Demons during the time of Christ

 

Conclusion:

A. We are not told much about demons

B. In the New Testament, casting out demons performs the same function as performing miracles: to confirm the messenger and the word spoken

C. We need to be aware of the presence of demons and spiritual forces, but not overly fearful of them.

D. We have a greater master than the demons

The Angel of the Lord

I. Preliminary Considerations

A. Meaning of the word “angel”

1. Hebrew – The word translated angel is malak which means: “messenger, representative” (Strong’s)

2. Greek—The word transliterated angel is ANGELOS which means: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent” (Strong’s)

B. The word “angel” is a transliteration of the Greek word ANGELOS (i.e., making an English word out of the Greek word instead of giving the meaning in English) which means messenger, just as “baptism” is a transliteration of BAPTIZO which means to dip, plunge, or immerse. The Hebrew word is translated by the transliteration from the Greek. If these words had been translated instead of transliterated many problems would never have existed.

C. The Hebrew and Greek words for angel are used to refer to more than just spiritual beings that serve God. Every word translated messenger or something similar in the following passages is the Hebrew or Greek word for angel:

1. Human messengers sent by David, 2 Sam. 2:5.

2. Haggai is referred to as a messenger, Haggai 1:13.

3. Malachi’s name means: “My messenger.”

4. Jesus is prophetically called the messenger of the covenant (i.e., angel of the covenant), Malachi 3:1. Note: this does not mean that Jesus was an angel as we typically think of them or that He is a created being. It just shows that part of Jesus’ mission was to bring a message.

5. John the Baptist is prophetically called a messenger or angel, Malachi 3:1, Matt. 11:10, Mark, 1:1-4

6. Messengers sent by John the Baptist, Luke 7:24

7. Messengers sent ahead by Jesus to the Samaritans, Luke 9:52

D. There is nothing inherent in the Hebrew or Greek word for angel that means a spiritual being serving God. Often, these words do refer to a spiritual being serving God, but this is determined from the context, not the meaning of the words.

II. The Angel of the Lord is Deity (i.e., God)

A. The Angel of the Lord refers to a specific being.

1. The phrase the Angel of the Lord occurs 56 times and always with the definite article (i.e., the). A definite article is used to refer to a specific being or as a title such as “the President.” Without the definite article it would refer to an angel of the Lord (i.e., that is an angel that belongs to God).

2. The Angel of the Lord is also called: the Angel of His Presence, Mine Angel, the Angel of God, and Captain of the Lord’s Host.

B. The Angel of the Lord and God are indistinguishable in many passages: Gen. 16:7ff, 21:17ff, 22:11ff, 31:11ff; Ex. 3:2 ff, Judges 2:1 ff.

1. All these passages use “the Angel of the Lord” and “the Lord” interchangeably as if talking about one being. When it refers to God apart from man “the Lord” is used. When God enters the perception of men “the Angel of the Lord” is used.

2. In these passages the Angel of the Lord claims to be God, speaks as God, and promises what only God can promise. In addition, men and women address the Angel of the Lord as God in these passages.

C. The Angel of the Lord has attributes of God such as omniscience, 2 Samuel 14:17, 20.

D. The Angel of the Lord accepts worship.

1. Only God can accept worship, Matthew 4:10.

a. In Acts 10:25-26, Cornelius attempts to worship Peter, but Peter refuses saying he is just a man.

b. In Revelation 19:10, John attempts to worship a created angel. The angel tells him to get up and worship God. This occurs again in Revelation 22:8-9 with the same results.

2. Joshua 5:14-15

a. The designation used here for the Angel of the Lord is Captain of the Lord’s Host.

b. Joshua falls at the feet of the Captain of the Lord’s Host, and bows down clearly worshipping.

c. The Captain of the Lord’s Host asks Joshua to remove his sandals just as the Lord asked Moses to remove his sandals in Exodus 3:5.

3. Judges 6:11-24

a. Once again God, Lord, and the Angel of the Lord are used interchangeably.

b. In 6:18-20, Gideon asks God to stay until he can prepare an offering. God agrees and the Angel of the Lord stays.

c. The Angel of the Lord provides Gideon with special instructions for the offering and accepts the offering, 6:20-21.

d. Gideon is afraid for his life because he saw the Angel of the Lord, 6:22.

4. Judges 13:1-25

a. In 13:15-16, it appears that the Angel of the Lord is refusing worship, but this is not the case.

1) Manoah is not offering the Angel of the Lord a burnt offering, he is offering The Angel of the Lord food.

2) Manoah and his wife do not know He is the Angel of the Lord as verse 16 says. At this point they think he is a man, cf. Judges, 13:6, 8, 10, 11. They would never presume to worship a man.

3) The Angel of the Lord knowing that they do not know His true nature suggests a burnt offering to the Lord.

b. In 13:17-18, the Angel of the Lord says His name is wonderful which is an appellation of deity, cf. Isaiah 9:6.

c. In 13:20, Manoah and his wife fall on their faces to the ground which is an act of fear, reverence, and worship.

d. In 13:21-22, Manoah equates seeing the Angel of the Lord with seeing God.

5. If the Angel of the Lord was not deity why didn’t He refuse worship as Peter and angels did?

 

III. The Angel of the Lord is Jesus 

A. We are told that Jesus (referred to as the Word) was present at the beginning of creation (John 1:1) and came to earth and dwelt among us (John 1:14). What did He do between these two events?

B. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.says that Jesus was present during the time of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings.

1. This is not referring to the physical food and drink God provided for them, but the spiritual.

2. Spiritually they partook of Christ in the OT. This could be referring to the Angel of the Lord’s presences during these times such as appearing as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, Ex. 13:21, 14:19.

C. The Angel of the Lord and Jesus both act as mediators between God and man. 1 Tim. 2:5 says there is “one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

D. After Jesus became flesh, the Angel of the Lord is never mentioned again except in OT quotations.

E. Saying that Jesus is the Angel of the Lord is not the same as saying that Jesus is a created being or an angel in service to God. The Angel of the Lord would probably be more accurately called “the Messenger of the Lord,” a title similar to Jesus’ designation as the Word in John 1:1-18.

 

Its Better Than Insurance

When our family van was totaled it was a great relief to have insurance. Theoretically, insurance guarantees financial protection from possible loss or harm in exchange for a premium. It is great to know that should an emergency arise, we are protected from loss that could be difficult to handle. Insurance is now offered for nearly every aspect of our lives and possessions. For our spiritual lives, however, no insurance is offered. Instead, God offers us something much greater: assurance. In the insurance world, assurance is coverage for an event that will happen at some point in your life. Biblically speaking though, assurance comes from God’s promises to help and reward us.

We have assurance that God cares and provides for us. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us we do not have to worry about what we are going to eat or wear. God knows what we need and provides for those who obey His will. This assurance frees us to pursue His kingdom and His righteousness above our physical needs. We have the assurance that God hears us. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us: “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” God is listening and answering prayers. Jesus also gives us the assurance God answers prayers and wants good things for us (Matthew 7:7-11).

We have the assurance we will be able to handle what life throws at us. We are told that what we face in life is only that which is common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). We may think we are going through something no one else has, but it is not the case. There is always someone else who has shared your struggles and overcome. Thus, you can too. This verse also assures us God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear. Whatever we face in life we will be able to endure and overcome.

We have the assurance we can draw near to God’s throne. To think about coming before the throne of God on Judgment Day fills many with fear. We know we are imperfect and weak. Jesus, however, as our High Priest gave us the assurance that we can approach God’s throne despite our flaws and find mercy through His blood (Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19-22). We have the assurance those who are abiding in Christ and His love will not have to shrink away from Him in shame at His coming (1 John 2:28, 4:16-17). We can have the assurance of eternal life with God (cf. 1 John 5:13) so we can live free from shame and uncertainty.

The assurance of God can give us great confidence and security in life beyond the capability of any insurance policy. In Hebrews 10:35-36, we are reminded not to throw this confidence away; it has a great reward. Instead, we need to endure. God’s assurance policy will change our lives and our afterlives for the best possible outcome, if only we will turn and do His will (cf. Matthew 7:21-23). Best of all, with God’s assurance the premiums have already been paid (1 Peter 1:18-19) and the paperwork is already completed (2 Peter 1:2-4).

A View Into Heaven

A utopia is a truly perfect society. Many books have been written expressing the author’s idea of what a perfect society would be, but their idea of perfect is not perfect for everyone—it would be absolute misery for some. Men have tried to create utopian societies on earth, but have never achieved one. In fact, the word utopia has become somewhat synonymous with unrealistic and impossible. Men have failed to create a society that is perfect for everyone. A truly perfect existence seems out of reach even in our imaginations. The Bible, however, tells us of a place called heaven—a place perfect for everyone who has or ever will exist. Let’s look at three ways the Bible tries to teach us about what heaven will be like.

First, we are going to have a great body. Our current bodies are amazingly constructed and wonderful, but they grow weak, give us pain, and will eventually cease functioning. In heaven, however, we will have a body like Jesus’ resurrected body (1 John 3:2-3). We also know it will be an imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Outside of these things, we know virtually nothing about our eternal body. John says we do not know what we are going to be like, but we are going to be like Jesus and that should be enough.

Second, we are going to have a great mansion. Our houses now are sometimes too small, they have plumbing problems, they leak, they are expensive to maintain, etc. Jesus, however, is preparing a new house for us in heaven (John 14:1-4) Jesus describes the Father’s house as one huge house with lots of rooms. There are so many rooms that there is room for every single person if they will come to Jesus. We will all be together with God as one family.

Third, we are going to have a great city. Our cities now are places of great convenience, but they are also places of great problems: trash, crowding, maintenance, homelessness, poverty, crime, etc. In Revelation 22:10-27, we are given a picture of an immense city. The size of this city is roughly 3,375,000,000,000 cubic feet. One of its four sides would stretch from Houston, TX to New York City and it would be that high as well. It is described as a magnificent city beautifully built, founded upon a secure foundation, and contains everything we could need or want. Most importantly, God is in its midst and there is nothing unclean in this city.

It is hard and perhaps impossible for us to imagine how great and wonderful heaven will be. We can look at the good things we experience in this life, however, and realize heaven will be so much better that the good things we experience in this life will seem like nothing. It will be a true utopia—a place perfect for everyone. Don’t you want to go there?

Removing “I Can’t”

We often let two little words keep us from doing the will of God: “I can’t.” We make excuses, we rationalize our disobedience, or we just think it is too hard. We need to realize, however, that God is faithful and has given us the ability to be obedient regardless of our circumstances. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us we will not face any temptation that we cannot handle. There will always be a way to overcome. Obstacles and trials are common to man, but great men and women have found ways to overcome. Put yourself in the following situations.

Would you read your Bible… If you lost your sight? If you lost your hearing too? If you also lost your arms and legs? Would you find a way to read your Bible? It happened to William McPherson in a mining explosion, but he found a way. He learned to read his Bible in Braille with his tongue. Truly, he was one who loved God’s Word (Psalm 119). He longed for the pure milk of the word (1 Peter 2:1-3) and feasted upon it (cf. Matthew 4:4). If he could read his Bible, you can too.

Would you find peace and contentment… If you lost your only son? Then lost your job and resources? Later lost your remaining children? It happened toHoratio Spafford. He lost his son in 1871. Then the Great Chicago fire ruined his business. In 1873, he sent his family to Europe, but while crossing the Atlantic, the ship they were on sank and all four of his daughters died. Going to join his wife, he penned the words to the beloved song “It is Well with My Soul” near the spot where his daughters perished. He learned to cast his cares and anxieties upon God and obtained the peace of God despite the difficulties in his life (cf. Philippians 4:6-9, 11-13). If he could find peace and contentment, you can too.

Would you come to worship… If your body was wracked with cancer and pain? Your life was torn by an unchristian spouse? I was blessed to know an elderly lady in the church who did. Despite great physical pain, she came every Sunday. Each time she left for church, her husband cussed and cursed her, hurling insults, calling her names and saying she was only going in order to sleep with the men. Yet every Sunday, she had a smile on her face and was glad to be at the assembly. Her very presence was edifying and encouraging (cf. Hebrews 10:23-25). If she could find the will to come to worship, you can too.

We need to remove the words “I can’t” from our language and replace them with “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). God will give us the strength and ability to serve Him if we are willing.