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What are they? What do they do? What do we know about them?

Why does God need help?

Postby Surfing Ghost » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:48 am

A friend who is a pastor has said a few things that I need clarification on. Full disclosure: he is a born-again pastor, and I am a fallen Catholic. But he has told me on several occasions that the angels 'do work' for God in the spiritual realm in preparation for "God's plan of redemption" and that it's a lot of work. Why can't God do it? Why does God need help? What work are they doing?
Surfing Ghost
 

Re: Why does God need help?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:18 pm

We aren't told a lot about angels. (A lot of what people believe about them comes from commentators, Jewish lore, and Medieval Christian writings, none of which is necessarily accurate.) The word "angel" is a common Greek word meaning "messenger." Even the mailman is an "angel" in that sense. But the Bible speaks of spirit-being messengers.

Angels aren't people's souls in the afterlife; they are spirit beings. They don't have physical or material bodies.

There are varieties of spirit beings: archangels, demons, heavenly host (army), powers, thrones, dominions, and authorities, cherubim and seraphim. Some of them are good, and some have turned bad. We don't know anything about their creation (Neh. 9.6; Ps. 148.2, 5; Col. 1.16), but there are large numbers of them (Rev. 5.11; Dan. 7.10). Here are a few things we know about them:

1. From Genesis 28, they go back and forth from earth to heaven, embarking on missions, doing work for God. It's not explained what.
2. From Hebrews 1.14, they serve God's people. It's not explained how. We have just a few examples: Acts 5.19; 12.6-11; Ps. 34.7; 91.11; Gn. 19.11, etc.
3. From many texts in the Bible, they carry messages to humans. Lk. 1.13-20, 26-38; Acts 8.26 etc.
4. They interpret God's will to people. Job 33.23.
5. They judge the enemies of God. 2 Ki. 19.35; Acts 12.23, and others.

They have intelligence and will (2 Sam. 14.20; Rev. 22.9). They are moral, and some are characterized as holy (Mt. 25.31 et al) and others as evil. They have power that humans don't have.

Why does God need help? Scripture indicates that the presence of God is so powerful that a fragile human being would be killed by His very presence. So when God needs to get things done, to talk to people, to make an appearance, he uses angels.

We are not to worship angels. They are not divine, but mere messengers.

I hope that helps a little. Feel free to ask more, because there is more to be said. I just didn't want to write too much if this is enough to answer your question.


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