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There are no archangels

In addition to creating humans, God has created angels and other beings who are like them. Students of the Bible generally teach that there are at least four classes of such beings: angels, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim.

Angels are mentioned many times.

Cherubim are first mentioned in Genesis 3:24, “ He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Seraphim are mentioned in Isaiah 6:2, “Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

But the word “archangels” is never found in the Bible. The singular, “archangel”, appears only twice.

The first appearance is in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. It says the archangel, not an archangel, meaning there is only one. (Some translation use the word an instead of the, but these are in the minority.)

The name of this archangel in found in the ninth verse of the book of Jude. “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Michael is the only one in the Bible called an archangel.

Some say that Gabriel in an archangel but he is never called this in the Bible. The apocrypha speaks of an archangel name Uriel, and the fact that many consider the apocrypha part of the Bible has led to a lot of false teaching on this subject.

The term “arch” in the word archangel refers to someone who is in authority. We find this in many English words, such as: monarchy, which means rule by a single person; oligarchy, which means rule by a few; and anarchy, which means a state in which there is no ruler.

God created angels and chose one of them, Michael, to be in charge of all the others. He gave him the title “archangel.” There are no archangels. There is only one archangel and his name is Michael.

Lot and Sodom

When two angels visited Sodom in preparation for its destruction they met Lot.

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.”

They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.”

But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.  (Genesis 19:1-3)

The fact that Lot was sitting in the gate tells us something of his status in the city.  The gate was where important business was carried out and the important men in the city were frequently found there. Read the rest of this entry

Wild animals and angels

This is what happened to Jesus after he was baptized by John.

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.  And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.  And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.  (Mark 1:12,13)

This is also a summary of how a Christian lives after he is saved.  When we repent of our sins and place our faith in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ and enables us to live the kind of life God wants us to live.  We also become citizens of Heaven. Read the rest of this entry

Before creation

The Bible begins by telling us how God created the earth.  But what was he doing before?  God is eternal so surely the universe we live in is not the first of God’s works and it won’t be the last.  Some people think Heaven will be boring because we will have nothing to do.  In fact we will have plenty to do just learning what God has done in the past and observing what he does in the future.  (I wonder if the words past and future will have any meaning.  We live in time so for us some things have happened in the past and others are still in the future.  Will this still be true in eternity?)

The Bible does reveal some things that happened before the earth was created. Read the rest of this entry

The Wise Men at the manger

Every year around Christmas we see nativity scenes.  The details of the scenes differ but all of them show the baby Jesus in a manger with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Wise Men either standing or kneeling around him.  These scenes serve a useful purpose by reminding everyone that Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa Claus.  Unfortunately every nativity scene I have ever seen promotes an error.  They show the Wise Men being present at the birth of Jesus.  In fact they were nowhere near Bethlehem then and didn’t arrive until much later.

Here is Matthew’s description of the birth of Jesus.

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25)

He doesn’t give any details about the birth except to tell us that Mary was still a virgin.

Luke 2:1-20 gives a more detailed description of Jesus’s birth.  Joseph and Mary were forced to go to Bethlehem because of a decree by Caesar and Jesus was born there and placed in a manger.  An angel revealed to a group of shepherds that the Messiah had been born and they came to see him. Read the rest of this entry

If God spoke to us audibly

There is disagreement about how God wants us to live.  If God would just speak to everyone in an audible voice that would eliminate all questions about God and enable us to serve him without any doubts or disagreements.

Or perhaps it wouldn’t.  The Bible records a time when a crowd of people did hear God speak.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

 John 12:27-28

Everyone present heard the sound of the voice but not everyone understood it. Read the rest of this entry

Do angels have wings?

Everyone knows that angels have wings.  Every picture we see of angels shows them with wings.  However there is one problem.  Some of the things said about angels in the Bible seem to contradict this belief.

Before God destroyed Sodom he sent two angels to take Lot and his family out of the city.

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.”

They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.”  But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.  And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”

Genesis 19:1-5

The men of Sodom thought the angels were men and tried to attack them.  Don’t you think that if they had wings the men would have known they would have realized there was something different about them and they wouldn’t have been so anxious to harm them? Read the rest of this entry

The sons of God and the daughters of men

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Genesis 6:1-4

Who were these sons of God?  There are three theories as to their identity. Read the rest of this entry

Aliens

Is there intelligent life on other planets?  That is a question people have been asking as long as we have known that there are other planets.  When the telescope was invented astronomers discovered that some of the “stars” we see are actually worlds like our own and this led to speculation about whether or not there were people living on them.  We now know that there is no other life in our solar system but the possibility remains that planets revolving around other stars might have intelligent inhabitants.

Christians are faced with another question.  If humans ever do contact aliens will we have a responsibility to tell them about God and preach the gospel to them?

Read the rest of this entry

The guards

Peter and the other apostles were imprisoned by order of the high priest and were freed from prison by an angel.

But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
Acts 5:17-21

Peter was imprisoned again when King Herod began persecuting the church.

About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
Acts 12:1-3

Read the rest of this entry

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