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Angels Bible Study

Angels Bible Study PDF

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Hebrews 1:14

What Are Angels?

  • The word “angel” comes from the Greek word angelos (Hebrew mal’ak) which means messenger.
  • Sometimes in the Bible the term ‘angel’ is used to describe a human person who is a messenger (Job 1:14; Luke 7:24; Luke 9:52); they are not always spiritual beings.
  • They typically are messengers, though not always. They also worship God (Revelation 4:8; Hebrews 1:6), help and minister to humans (Hebrews 1:14), and are warriors (Revelation 12:7), among other tasks.


What Does the Bible Say About Angels?

  • Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament.
  • Even with all these appearances, they are usually shown just performing their duties and we are not given a lot of information regarding their characteristics.
  • Angels are created beings (Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2,5; Colossians 1:16-17), though they were around before God created the earth (Job 38:1-7).
  • While we aren’t given an exact number, we do know that there are many, many angels (Daniel 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Hebrews 12:22).
  • There appear to be four types of angels in the Bible:
    • Cherubim
      • Note that the Bible does not call these beings angels. It seems fair to say that they are certainly supernatural beings who perform God’s Will, therefore for our purposes we can consider them ‘angels’.
      • Found in the Bible: Genesis 3:24; prominent in Ezekiel; throughout OT; Hebrews 9:5 is only NT reference.
      • Guardians to the Tree of Life in Garden of Eden.
      • They seem to have a guardian role (Genesis 3:24; Psalms 80:1; Psalms 99:1)
      • They were featured prominently on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18-21).
      • We usually think of a Cherub (pl. Cherubim) like they are depicted in art- as little children and baby angels.  Actually, Ezekiel describes Cherubim in Ezekiel 1:5-11 quite differently.
    • Seraphim
      • As with Cherubim, they are certainly supernatural beings, whether or not they are ‘angels’.
      • The word ‘seraph’ means ‘burning one’.
      • They fly around God’s Throne and glorify God, typically by proclaiming “Holy, holy, holy…”
      • Their primary purpose seems to be to praise God.
    • Archangel(s)
      • An Archangels is a high-ranking angel— Archangel means chief angel. Michael is the only one mentioned specifically, though there may be others. (Daniel 10:13; Revelation 12:7-9). The Book of Enoch says that Gabriel is an archangel. The Book of Enoch is not officially scripture, but it is quoted in Jude 1:14–15.
    • Common Angels
      • Seem to appear as young men, often in gleaming white robes (Mark 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-8); Genesis 18:2). It appears that they can take on a number of shapes, as they are actually spirits (Hebrews 1:14). Daniel’s vision of an angel is quite inspiring (see Daniel 10:5-6)

Are There Angels mentioned By Name?

  • Gabriel appears a number of times in the Bible, always providing a message or to impart wisdom to humans. It was Gabriel who appeared to Daniel and explained to him the visions of the end-times. Gabriel also appeared to Elizabeth regarding her son, John the Baptist.  Finally, Gabriel is the angel that appears to both Mary and Joseph regarding the birth of Jesus.
  • Michael is a warrior archangel, shown as warring with Satan and other demonic forces (Daniel 10:13; Revelation 12:7-9). Perhaps the only archangel- Jude 9 refers to him as ‘the archangel Michael’, though probably not, as Daniel 10:13 describes him as “…one of the chief princes…” His name means ‘Who is like God?’ (note the question mark) It seems that he is the protector of Israel (Daniel 12:1).
  • Lucifer/Satan was once a beautiful but prideful angel who rebelled against God and now fights to bring God’s people into ruin. See Isaiah 14:12-18 and throughout Scripture.
  • Apollyon/Abaddon is perhaps the same as Satan, but may also be a separate fallen angel. He appears in Revelation 9:11.


Do I Have a Guardian Angel? Are Angels Active Today?

While the Bible doesn’t specifically say if each person has a guardian angel, when Peter was freed from prison it appears that the group assumed it was his guardian angel (See Acts 1:15).  Whether or not there is a specific angel charged with watching over a person throughout his/her life, there certainly are angels who watch over believers:

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Hebrews 1:14

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Hebrews 13:2 (KJV)

Also note that there seems to be Biblical justification for the concept of ‘territorial spirits’, as seen in Deuteronomy 32:8-9; Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:20 and Daniel 12:1. Ephesians 6:12 warns that our struggle is against spiritual foes.

No matter what: angels are servants of God, not us. Also, we do not worship angels or ask them for help- they do as God commands.