There is an outline of the Book of Hebrews now available on: http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Book-of-Hebrews.pdf
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The work of angels is such an interesting topic to me. There is so much that can be said but only so much can be known. From Genesis to Revelation they are there, and we only know about it because we’ve been told.
What do they do? To put it simply, they do the will of God – at least the angels of God do such work. But I guess when you think about it, whether or not they are of God doesn’t much change the fact that his work will be accomplished. For even some of the angels thought that there was freedom outside of the will of God only to find out that the true freedom was only found by working in it and not against it (Matthew 25:41).
Much to the chagrin of the Sadducees, angels are found all through the New Testament. Want to know where? It’s easier for me to tell you where they are not – Ephesians, Philippians, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and James. Double check that if you get the chance. And the Old Testament is over flowing with them too. While the New Testament uses the word angel a whopping 177 times, the Old Testament rings in at an amazing 109 times! Wait a second; the New Testament actually uses the word angel more than the Old Testament? According to what I found it does. But again, you can double-check me on that too. Even if you take out the references from the book of Revelation, the New Testament almost matches the Old Testament word for word at 105.
From proclaiming various announcements, to doling out several replete judgments of God, to ministering to a physically burdened Jesus, angels are ever busy in their spiritual work in the New Testament. There has to be a lesson in there for the people of God, right? Not necessarily repeating their specific works across the board, but rather repeating their work ethic across the board in what we’ve been called to do.
One day I’m going to do a class on angels. The only reason I haven’t done such already is because it’s so daunting to me. There is so much to say how can I say it all. How can we ever say it all though! The problem that I have seen with some people’s work on angels is that, like many other spiritually themed writings and teachings, they say too much. They say more than what has been revealed by the word of God. Angels speak by the word of God, at least the angels of God, so why would someone want to speak about them without following the same guide line?
Anyways, does the work of angels capture your interest? What’s your “favorite” work that’s captured in the Bible? Have you ever thought about meeting them?
At the end of the day, the work of angels is a topic that’s worth our study, because despite the fact that there’s only so much said about them, there’s been enough said for us to get the point.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”” (Luke 2:13-14)
When children are very young, they are like little angels.
But as their legs get longer, the wings get shorter.
Glenda’s post reminded me of a quote I heard from a denominational radio preacher a long time ago. He was speaking about children being born pure and sinless. He said, “They’re like angels, but the problem is that as the legs get longer the wings get shorter!” How true!
Joseph had already decided to act out of love for Mary, rather than protect his honor, by putting her away quietly. So it must have come as great relief to him to hear the angel’s message. He cannot be faulted for disbelieving Mary’s story. After all, who wouldn’t have looked askance at such an explanation for her pregnancy?
As to why the angel appeared to him in a dream, rather than when he was awake, is a mystery. Did the truth of that revelation need time to sink in, penetrate his subconscious? But when he awoke from his sleep, he didn’t hesitate, and the text in Matt. 1 says simply that he took her as his wife. No delays, no doubts.
Perhaps because it was in his sleep, the text registers no fear on his part. One of the few angelic appearances where fear is not mentioned.
Tell about your favorite angel appearance in the Bible. Why is it your favorite? You’ve probably had somebody to tell you that an angel appeared to them, but let’s stick with the ones that really happened, in Scripture.
I searched TFR in vain, because I thought I’d asked this Nudge before. Must be one of the false memories Ed mentioned.
Jack English wrote an excellent entry on angels for our Dictionary of Biblical Vocabulary. I think I’ve got it translated already into Portuguese. Maybe after (if ever) we get the Portuguese volume published, we’ll work on an English edition.
I’ve been out of pocket for a few days and have zilch on news of saints and churches. You got something?
As for favorites I think it’s a toss up between the ones John and Mike suggested. Since those have been mentioned I will go with most intriguing. I’m fascinated with the appearance we find in Daniel 10. The immediate response of God to Daniel’s request is touching. The 3 week delay brings me to the intriguing part.
Do we underestimate the powers of darkness to hinder even the angels of heaven? Can we even imagine the fierceness of the battle as these unseen powers go head to head? Joe Beam describes in much detail what he believes is happening in his book _Seeing the Unseen_. I feel he goes beyond what we can possibly know from the Scriptures, so I’m not necessarily recommending the book.
While I believe Joe represents one extreme, too many of us are on the other extreme. We ignore the clear teaching of scripture, as to the power and influence of the evil one and his cohorts, to our own detriment.
What are your thoughts?
My favorite angelic appearance is Luke 2:9, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” An angel appeared to shepherds and told them there were “good tidings of great joy.” The appearance of Christ the Lord, who had come to earth as a human being, was heralded by this angel. God was working out his plan to save men from the bondage of sin!
Randal, I’ve got to color outside the lines a bit on this one. My favorite “angelic appearance,” for obvious reasons, is found in Acts 6:15 -
“And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at [Stephen], saw his face as the face of an angel.”
What’s your favorite angelic appearance in the Bible? queries the Nudge this fine, cool morning. Fellows, cite one moment when an angel appears to a human, and why that one makes your day. (Visitors, surfers and regulars can Reply to this post.)
Remember, no extra-biblical appearances need apply. You have from Genesis to Revelation as possibilities here.
Interesting how, in the Bible, angels are often associated with fear. Either the appearee is struck with terror, or the angel says, “Fear not …” A far cry from the chummy tales of angels today. As far as the little fat, cutesy cherub of the paintings, we won’t even go there. Have we ever seen a portrayal that does the angels’ biblical description justice? I doubt it.
And reckon Gabriel and Michael mind having humans named after them? Just wondering …
News, anybody? I know some, but I can’t tell it. Yet. When the time comes we’ll pass on the word to you.
So tell me something that can be told. Good, preferably.
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Let me first of all say: I do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. I think of this time of year as a family celebration and reunion.
But I do want to stir up your mind about the birth of Christ. Think of it! Other than the crucifixion and resurrection, no single past event is so important.
Isaiah prophesied it in 7:14 as a unique “virgin” birth. Daniel told the time of the coming of the Messiah in 2:44. Micah prophesied the exact location (Bethlehem Ephrathah) in Micah 5:2.
An angel announced the birth to both Joseph and Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; also Luke 1:26-38).
Maji spent months following a special star and traveling to observe the child and present gifts (Mt. 2:1-12). Who else in all of history had a star to proclaim his birth?
Herod was so envious and angry about it he destroyed many children to stop it (2:16-18).
Elizabeth called Mary the “mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43). In response Mary sang what has come to be called the Magnificat (1:46-55).
Though Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, a special census called for them to return to Bethlehem, even though Mary was large with child (Luke 2:1-7).
An angel of the Lord announced the birth to shepherds in the field with the sign of a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger (Luke 2:8-20).
The Scriptures tell much about this birth. No other birth in ancient history has so much prophesied and recorded about it. This is an amazing miracle and blessing of God.
This is a marvelous event! And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Say as little about the human tradition of Christmas as you wish, but do not neglect to tell what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus Christ–God’s great gift to the world!!!
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