Seek the Truth with all your heart.
Psalm 103:20 ‘Praise the LORD, you HIS angels, you mighty ones who do HIS bidding, who obey HIS word.’
Hebrews 1:14 ‘Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?’
Angels have hierarchies or ranks, and each rank provides a different type of service.
Moses classified the angels in the Bible under one of the following ten ranks:
1. Chayot HaKodesh (Holy Living Creatures), a group of angels mentioned in Ezekiel 1&10 as being close to the Throne and Chariot of GOD. They have four wings and four faces: of man, lion, ox, and eagle.
2. Ophanim (Wheels), angels associated with the throne of God and mentioned in Ezekiel 1:15–21 and Daniel 7:9 (and in the Book of Enoch). They look like wheels within wheels and are covered with eyes.
3. Erelim (Valiant Ones), angels mentioned in Isaiah. In Jewish mystic tradition, they are thought to be connected to moments of sadness, death, or destruction. (Isaiah 33:7)
4. Chashmalim (Shining Ones) described in Ezekiel 1:4.
5. Seraphim (Burning Ones), six-winged angels that Isaiah describes as a male choir that sing out, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord GOD of Hosts; heaven and earth are filled with your glory." Isaiah 6:2–3. Isaiah 6:6 a seraph purifies the Prophet Isaiah's lips with a coal from the altar.
6. Malachim (Messengers), whom Isaiah describes as bringing comfort to people in their distress, and whom the Book of Psalms promises will protect GOD's people. According to Jewish mysticism, Raphael leads this class of angels.
7. Elohim (GOD-ly Beings), mentioned in Psalm 8:5.
8. Benei Elohim (Sons of GOD), angels who focus on bringing glory to GOD. According to Jewish mysticism, they are led by the archangel Michael.
9. Cherubim (To Be Near), angels described by Ezekiel as having four faces, who among other things, guard the Garden of Eden and the way to the Tree of Life with a flaming sword According to the Kabbalah, they are led by the archangel Gabriel. (Genesis 3:24)
10. Ishim (Guardian), angels described in the Book of Daniel as being man-like.
(Genesis 18:2 & Daniel 10:5)
According to Jewish thought, even though they all have superior intellect, some angels understand GOD and his ways better than others. The above ranking indicates the degree of the angel's comprehension of GOD.
Angels are mentioned 108 times in the Old Testament, and 165 times in the New Testament.
Job 2:1 ‘On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before HIM.’
Psalm 89:6 ‘For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?’
Angels and the Revelation of Prophecy.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, angels play key roles in interpreting prophetic visions, as recorded in Revelation.
Daniel 8:15-27 & 9:20–27 The angel Gabriel, for example, revealed the exact timing of the coming of the Messiah to the prophet Daniel as well as the work of the anti-Messiah (anti-christ) in “the distant future.”
Zechariah 1:9–5:11 Angels walked prophets through their visions, explaining and teaching what each vision meant.
Angels Deliver Messages.
Another duty of angels is to bring messages. In fact, in Hebrew, the word "angel" has no equivalent. The closest word for angels in modern Hebrew is malakhim (מַלְאָכִים), which means messengers.
Messenger angels occupy a unique rank in that they often appear in the form of men, as opposed to winged cherubim and seraphim.
Malakhim have appeared to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. Isaiah mentions the Malakh Panav, the Angel of GOD's Presence.
Daniel 4:13 & 17 ‘In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven.’
‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the MOST HIGH is sovereign over all kingdoms on Earth and gives them to anyone HE wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
The angel Gabriel gave to Miryam (Mary) the following message of prophetic fulfillment:
Luke 1:29–33 & Isaiah 7:14 “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with GOD. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord GOD will give him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”
Luke 2:13-14 ‘Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising GOD and saying, “Glory to GOD in the highest.”
Angels minister to people.
Hebrews 1:14 "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"
This tells us that malakhim are “ministering spirits” sent forth to minister to those “who will be heirs of salvation.”
The messages that angels send on behalf of GOD are two-fold. Not only do they reveal His plans for their lives, they also serve to minister in times of dire distress.
1 Kings 19:3–6 For instance, an angel baked bread for Elijah when he was hiding out in a cave and wanted to die.
When Sarah’s maidservant Hagar thought she was about to die, crying out to the LORD, she and Ishmael sat alone in the wilderness with no food or water after Sarah banished Hagar from her home.
Genesis 21:18 The angel of GOD (malakh Elohim) appeared to relieve her distress saying, “Do not be afraid; GOD has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
This message is also a tremendous prophecy, as Ishmael became the father of the Arab nations.
Mark 1:13 And angels ministered to Yeshua (Jesus) during his 40 days of fasting in the wilderness and subsequent temptation by Satan.
Angels Worship GOD.
Angels not only minister to humans, they minister to GOD through their worship of Him.
Isaiah 6:3 Isaiah saw Seraphim above GOD, "each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD [YHVH] of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Revelation 4:8 The apostle John saw similar angelic beings around the throne of GOD. Day and night they never ceased praising GOD, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord GOD Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”
Revelation 4:10–11 When we receive our glorified bodies, we will join the angels in praising Him as we see the 24 elders doing.
“The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and GOD, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’”
Angels Warfare and Protection
Psalm 91:11 ‘For HE will command HIS angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.’
Angels are involved in warfare and protection. They war with the angels of darkness who try to prevent them from performing their service to us. After many days of intense praying, an angel appeared to Daniel explaining why he came three weeks late:
Daniel 10:13 “The prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.”
Ephesians 6:12 ‘Our war (struggle) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms who are continually seeking to destroy our efforts. We do not usually receive an immediate answer to our prayers, but we should not stop praying.
A liturgical prayer that Jewish People recite before going to sleep acknowledges and seeks the protection offered by four specific angels (named in the Talmud as archangels), and also by GOD Himself: “To my right Michael and to my left Gabriel, in front of me Uriel and behind me Raphael, and over my head GOD's Shekhinah Glory (the Presence of GOD)."
In Jewish tradition, Michael is the angel of mercy; Gabriel of justice; Raphael of healing; and Uriel of illumination.
The Kabbalists of Safed in the late 16th or early 17th century wrote a poem that is now universally sung after returning from Shabbat services on Friday night, often before the kiddush (sanctification) of the Shabbat meal.
The short version states, "Angels of peace, may your coming be in peace; bless me with peace, and bless my prepared table. May your departure be in peace, from now and forever. Amen."
Invoking the Service of Angels.
We do not pray to angels for protection and angelic intervention. We pray directly to the Father. Angels do nothing of their own accord, they listen for GOD's Word. Believers can dispatch angels to do certain things by asking GOD to commission them.
Angels differ from human beings in that they do not exercise free will. According to Jewish thinking, they are pre-programmed to serve GOD in one specific form of Divine service. Humans, on the other hand, are designed to serve GOD in many ways, and they have the freedom to choose if they will serve Him at all.
For that reason, the service performed by a person who serves GOD, is of greater value than that of an angel, and a human can achieve greater spiritual heights.
Are the Nephilim Really Descendants of Angels?
Although angels are created beings, they do not have children or descendants. In Hebrew, a human being is ‘ben adam,’’ which literally means son of Adam, but can also be interpreted as a son of man. Angels, however, are not called sons of angels.
There is controversy among Hebrew Sages, however, as to whether angels have actually married human women and produced giants known as Nephilim.
Genesis 6:2 & 4 Speaks of the Sons of GOD (benei elohim) and the daughters of humans (benot ha-adam) producing offspring called Nephilim.
The 2nd century sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was said to curse those who translated ‘benei elohim’ as the “sons of GOD.” The Complete Jewish Bible reflects his view in that it translates ‘benei elohim’ as ‘sons of nobles.’
The term, “Angel of the LORD” appears 65 times in Scripture. At times it is associated with Gabriel who is referred to as an angel of the Lord, but Gabriel is never the angel of the Lord. The term seems to refer to one unique being, the Angel of the LORD, who often speaks and acts as GOD, not merely for GOD, and even identifies Himself as GOD.
It was the Angel of the Lord who stopped Abraham when he was about to complete his obedience in offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice.
Genesis 22:11–12 ‘But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear GOD, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Genesis 48:15–16 On his deathbed, while blessing Joseph’s sons, Jacob speaks of the Angel who “redeemed me from all evil” (delivered me from all harm.)
Exodus 3:2-6 “The angel of the LORD appeared to him (Moses) in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight, why the bush does not burn up.” When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, GOD called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” and Moses said “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” GOD said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the GOD of your father, the GOD of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at GOD.’
The appearance of “the Angel of the Lord” was actually GOD, and was quite likely Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah in pre-incarnate form.
Acts 5:18-20 ‘They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail, But during the night an angel of the LORD opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go stand in the temple courts” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.”
Acts 12:6-10 ‘The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the full length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.’
Interacting with Angels.
We might be tempted to think that angels are no longer involved in the affairs of humans.
Genesis 18:6–8 speaks of Abraham entertaining angels while they were in the midst of fulfilling their duties on earth.
Judges 6:20-23 ‘The angel of GOD said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of his staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign LORD I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.”
But the LORD said to him, “Peace ! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
GOD’s angelic messengers - angels - are active in our midst, taking an interest in the affairs of people, as they carry out GOD’s will.