The Nature & Body of Angels

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Part Two - The Nature & Body of Angels

 

I. THE NATURE OF ANGELS: the question who or what are they”?

1a Nature Introduced

1b Some see them as impersonal forces of good and evil – most Satanist groups fall into this category not believing in any deity but rather of god within us or a force

2b They are persons not forces or energy: they exhibit and share with humanity that unique combination of characteristics that set us apart from the rest of creation - the image of God

1c Intelligence

2c Emotions

3c Freedom of will

2a Nature Explored

1b Angels are intelligent beings

1c Angels are self-aware (Rev. 22:8-9) – animals do not seem to possess such understanding

2c Angels have the capacity to learn, process, and apply information around them

1d Stated: Angels show a desire to learn about God ‘s Creation and His relationship to man

1e God's saving work (1 Pet. 1:10-12 )

2e God's manifold wisdom through the Church ( Eph. 3:10-11) 

3e Authority as it relates to gender and the Church (1 Cor. 11:10 )

4e Treatment of children (Matt. 18:10)

2d Explored 

1e Angels intelligence far exceeds that of man not because of greater capacity or their created order but rather due to other factors

1f Perfect minds that are capable of functioning at full capacity

2f Longer existence in which to learn having been created as much as 8-12 thousand years ago

3f Greater resources from which to learn as they are able to observe both the spiritual and physical realms of God's creation

2e Angels capacity for learning is without something we consider essential for intelligence: a physical brain

1f Angels are fully intelligent as we are yet they do not have the physical organ of a brain

2f This brings into question the role of the brain in intelligence

1g The theory commonly held that the brain is the center of higher intelligence, the storage and process of memory, the center of emotions and personality – “more evolved”

2g The biblical view is different: the brain is the instrument through which intelligence relates to the physical universe

3g If a brain is damaged it hinders the capacity for process of intelligence If intelligence resides in the brain then at death intelligence ceases - Lk. 16 the rich man remembered his brothers and Lazarus and what went on before

3e Angels’ quest for knowledge, though perfect, gives us perspective about our future lives – always curios, always desiring to learn yet without the hindrance of sin

3c Angels have the capacity to worship God: ­Animals and creation as a whole can bring praise to God through their design, but not from their hearts (Psa. 148:2; Rev. 4:8; Isa 6:3)

2b Angels are emotion beings: more than the experience of raw emotions as animals do – they are to acknowledge the existence of emotions and have control over them to one degree or another

1c Angels Experience Joy

1d The angels understood what joy was when they communicated to the disciples the news of Christ’s birth (Lk. 1:10)

2d Every time a man or woman accepts Christ as Savior, the angels rejoice with God (Lk. 15:10) – they are happy but why? 

2c Angels Experience Fear (Lk. 8:26-34; Js 2:19)

3c Angels Experience Vengeance and wrath: Satan is cast out of Heaven (Rev. 12:10-12) and final battle (Rev. 20:7-10)

3b Angels are resolute beings

1c Angels decide between two alternatives (2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6): angels chose to violate God's authority

2c Angels can choose between right and wrong: chooses willfully to sin totally on his own: God cannot be blamed for his behavior even though he knows its ultimate outcome (Matt. 25:41)

3c Angels can plan and execute their goals (Gen. 3:1-7; Job 1, 2) Temptations of Christ)

1d Satan fights Michael over possession of the body of Moses (God buried it where no man could find it - but even the fallen angels knew) – (Jude 9)

2d Satan had a plan for that body

1e Make it an idol

2e Prevent it from future use

3e To desecrate it

II. THE BODIES OF ANGELS

1a The body is celestial or heavenly

1b Their bodies are made up of spiritual material: (1 Cor. 15:38-40)

2b Their bodies are not made of physical matter: has not the physical make up that a body has (Luke 24:37-39; John 20:26-29)

2a The body has form or shape

1b Described

1c Human Appearance

1d In Physical form not necessarily male or female but just the basic human torso thus described as the appearance of a man – whether this physical body shares all of the physical attributes that our body has is unknown

1e Gen. 18:2, three men appeared to Abraham

2e Heb. 13:2, people entertained angels unawares

3e Mk. 16:5, young man clothed in white robe

4e Acts 1:10, two men (usually male)

2d One Exception be considered here: Zech. 5:9 - speaks of women with wings carrying off the sins of Israel to Babylon

1e The wings and the work being done makes them appear to be female angels - a viable option

2e However they are just as likely to be imagery as the wicked woman of 7-8

2c Wear Clothing

1d White robe (Mk. 16:5; Mt. 28:3)

2d Often bright and shinning (Lk. 24:4)

3c Animal Appearance (Rev. 4:6-8; Isa. 6:2; Dan. 9:21)

1d Wings and flight

2d Faces like animals

2b Discussed: there is debate over whether these descriptions really portray what the body of an angel really looks like

1c Option #1: These are physical appearances needed for human interaction

1d They have the ability to take on human form for a temporary period

2d This may be done to better communicate with man

1e The only way that man can perceive them with human eyes, minds, and ears

2e Angels seem to minister best when man is unaware of who they are

3e Possibly it helps to avoid to some extent the problem of men worshipping angels (Rev. 19:10: 22:8-9; Col. 2:18-19)

3d If angels are able to take on physical form of a man does he also have the same physical abilities and desires that a man would have?

1e Gen. 18:8 – the angels that accompanied the Lord ate

2e Gen. 6 – possibly the fallen angels took on physical form and in doing so were drawn to commit immorality with earthly women (Angels are associated with the flood – 2 Peter 2:4-5 – Jude 6-7)

2c Option #2: Spirits have a similar, but immaterial structure, similar to that of the human body that can appear to men under certain circumstances

1d The everlasting lake of fire was created for the punishment of the fallen angels (Matt. 25:41) – does not imply a body that can sense searing heat and torment?

2d The account of Luke 16:19-31, Lazarus and the Richman seem to possess senses and structure of the body

1e Looked (23)

2e Recognition of Individuals (Lazarus and Abraham) (23)

3e Finger, Water, Tongue, Fire (24)

3d Saul recognized Samuel in a physical appearance yet Samuel’s body was not resurrected (1 Sam. 28:11-12)

4d Might explain the references to God’s eyes and hands (1 Sam. 5:11)

3b Applied

1c First: is it wrong depict angels in paintings, figurines, and statues and with a human form

1d No: as long as we are depicting angels as described by the Scriptures and are not doing it to worship them – a real danger (Col. 2:18)

2d We should be careful in our depictions of angels that we do not paint false ideas that detract from the truths of the Bible (baby angels)

2c Secondly: it gives us some perspective of what happens when we leave this body to dwell in heaven

1d But this is only a temporary condition for both the believer and unbeliever for the only natural state for the spirit of man is only at home in a physical body (John 5:23-29; James 2:26; 2 Cor. 5:1-6)

2d Our heavenly bodies await us that we might not be "naked" for all eternity (1 Cor. 15:39-49)