Greetings from Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.
Last Sunday Faith Lutheran celebrated the feast of St. Michael and All Angels. This is a joyous time to remember how God created not only the physical world but a spiritual world which we can't see unless God opens our eyes to it -- as in the case of Elisha's servant in 2 Kings 6:16, 17. There have been many false ideas about angels through the centuries and therefore I want to bring out the Biblical facts about them.
I can't find any place in Scripture where we are commanded to pray to angels or worship them. Most Protestants do not pray to angels. Their purpose is to serve God, guard the redeemed by Christ, oppose Satan and his demons, and gather the redeemed at death and on the last day.
Angels were most likely one of God's first creations. Job 38:7 tells us as God created the world "the morning stars" (angels) sang. Just as God spoke and the world was created so were angels created. Angels are not preexisting humans nor does a person become an angel or a demon at death. They are not all powerful, all knowing, nor present everywhere. These are traits of God and God alone.
Many times, artists picture them with wings, as female, or as Greek cupids. The mighty Seraphs, with six wings, are mentioned in Isaiah chapter 6, yet the majority of times no wings are mentioned, and they are described as young men or as warriors. God created them as spirit beings and only according to God's will do they appear to us.
There does appear to be different ranks or choirs of angels. Seraphim and cherubim may be one and the same. These may also be understood as the four creatures around God's throne in Revelation 4 and 5. Michael and Gabriel are Archangels as well as the only good angels named in Scripture.
Lucifer and those we call demons were originally good and it is believed he was the greatest of all the angels, but he rebelled against God and tempted other angels to follow him in a rebellion. Revelation 12 tells us that it was Michael the Archangel who fought against Satan and defeated him, casting him out of heaven.
Yet it is Christ, true God and true man, who through the cross and His resurrection ultimately defeats Satan even descending into hell to declare His victory. Genesis 3:15 describes it as "crushing" the serpent's head.
There are people, outside of the Biblical characters, who claim to have seen angels. These visions are impossible to prove or disprove. An angel's action or message must always be compared to the Bible, for even Satan can appear as an angel of light.
Angels are a blessing to us even though we may rarely realize it. Be assured that God uses them for your care and protection and give thanks for these special beings that do God's will.
• David Otten is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.