Here is a bible study all about angels. There are many misconceptions about angels. One of the most popular ones is that when children die they become angels. The Bible is clear on the point that angels and sons and daughters of man were both created by God and have many similarities but they are totally different and unique creations of God … just as a lion and a lamb are different. They may both be warm blooded mammals, but are very distinct from one another. A lion eats the meat of animals, whereas a lamb is a herbivore and does not eat meat. Although both walk on all fours, a lion has padded paws whereas a lamb has cloven hooves. As you go through this study you will become aware of these differences between angels and men and have a better understanding of God’s purpose in creating angels.
Angels were one of God’s first creations … even before the earth was created. This is alluded to in Job 38:4-7. Angels were present when God created man. Lucifer or Satan (prince of the demons) was in the Garden of Eden already in his fallen state when he deceived Eve and caused her to doubt God’s word which resulted in her disobeying God.
Angels are referred to as stars (figuratively speaking) and sons of God (since they are spiritual beings created by God) … see Job 38:7. In Isaiah 14:12-13 we see Lucifer who is the prince of the fallen angels scheming to overthrow God and rule over the angels (stars of God). Note: Morning stars are the brightest stars in the heavens in order for them to be seen in the light of dawn.
Angelic beings fall into two main categories … holy angels and demons or fallen angels. The holy angels are those angels that did not follow Satan in his rebellion against God and remained faithful to God. The demons, including Lucifer, were cast out of heaven and dwell here on earth and beneath the earth (Hades or hell) and are here to propagate all manner of evil on this earth and keep man bound in sin and from finding the Way, the Truth and the Life. Not included with the demons are angels that fell after the rebellion and are being held in chains until the Judgement. Their crime was that they disobeyed God and did something that is taboo. We gather from God’s word that angels can appear in human form. It would seem that some of these angels were captivated by the beauty of the daughters of man and while in human form as males took for themselves wives (Genesis 6:1-4). The results of these unions were wicked superhuman giants (Nephilim) … they were wicked and were not spared when the flood came … only Noah and his household were spared. It is mentioned that some angels did the same thing after the flood for a short time. All the angels that participated in these unions are now in chains in hell awaiting the Judgement (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6, 7). They are not free like the demons to roam the earth for doing this evil before God. Satan may have been instrumental in causing these angels to fall, for lust of the flesh is one of the things Satan uses to ensnare his victims. By doing this Satan may have wanted to destroy the lineage of Christ by corrupting the blood-lines. Fortunately this did not happen … for nothing can thwart God’s divine plan.
What do angels eat? According to Psalm 78:24, 25 they eat the grain of heaven … Manna, though assume this only applies to the heavenly angels and not the fallen angels or demons. The Word of God is not clear on what demons eat, but they can possess animals and humans and so it is likely they draw sustenance from their host, much like a cancer which is indeed their nature. When taking on a human form the Lord our God and angels can eat the same things we do as we see in Genesis 18:1-8 and 19:1-3. Angels can take on human forms (Hebrews 13:2) …but are not allowed to possess anyone, whereas it seems demons cannot take on human form, but are allowed to possess and oppress people and afflict them with all manner of sickness and disease. Some have reported seeing angels and demons alike ... demons are usually never seen as anything but deformed impish like creatures twisted by evil, but the word of God says that Satan can appear as an angel of light, so we must not trust our eyes for appearances can be deceiving while Satan is ruler of this world.
Angels and the first man were both created perfect and both were given free will. Aside from these similarities there are some major differences in how God deals with them when they choose to disobey His word and fall into sin. When angels sin … there is no forgiveness afforded them … when Lucifer led a rebellion where one third of the angels were beguiled into following him … they were all cast out of heaven and are now the demons on earth who cause illness and whose influence cause all the evil in the world, awaiting the Day of Judgement when they will be cast into the Lake of Fire which God will create for them to spend eternity. When the first man initially sinned, his descendants inherited this sin nature… so no one can stand before God righteous by his own merits … all stand guilty before God. But unlike angels, God is merciful to sinful men who humble themselves and ask for His forgiveness and choose to obey Him and believe on His word. A good example of this is King David. Even though he did not obey God all the time by multiplying wives to himself (Deuteronomy 17:17); and even committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11), God did consider him a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14 & Acts 13:22). From reading the Psalms David wrote we see that he had a pennant heart and had great faith in God. However he suffered greatly for the few times he disobeyed God… we see the contention there was between his many wives and their offspring and how one of his sons rebelled against him and tore the kingdom from him for a brief time, we see how he lost the son which had been conceived in iniquity from the one wife he cherished the most, we see how God would not allow him to build a temple for the Arc because of the fact he had shed much blood … this was left for his son Solomon to do, a man of peace (See 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14; 15:1-22 and 1 Chronicles 22:6-10; 28:1-3). Both in Psalms 51:17 and Isaiah 57:15 we find that God will not despise but will revivify the spirit of a person who is truly repentant of their sins. So why is salvation offered to the sons of man and not to angels? The reason can be seen by what Jesus said to his doubting disciple Thomas when he visited them after his death on the cross. Thomas would not believe the reports that Christ had risen until he could see him face to face and touch the crucifixion wounds on his body. Jesus allowed him to do just that and Thomas fell to his knees and proclaimed Jesus to be his Lord and God. Jesus however said that the blessing for those who do not see, but take it on faith and believe in Him would be far greater. The Word of God says that no man has ever seen the face of God and lived (Exodus 33:20, John 1:18) and yet there are angels that stand in the presence of God and see His glory all the time. (Luke 1:19; Revelation 8:2). Even Lucifer, the prince of the demons and ruler of this present world is called to present himself before God (see Job 1:6; 2:1). So man can only see God through the veil of His Son’s flesh and can only come live in His presence forever if they believe that God’s only begotten Son died for their sins and invite His Spirit in and become new creations in Him. They have never seen God face to face and so their salvation is solely based on faith which is counted as righteousness by God. Angels who have seen God face to face and not through a veil of flesh are therefore without excuse and so once they were beguiled by Satan and rebelled against His authority they forfeited their right to be God’s trusted messengers and instead became His eternal enemies. There is some debate over how Satan could talk to God since some advocate that God cannot look upon evil, however there is without question lots of evil in the world. If God could not look upon evil or be in the presence of evil, then Jesus could not have ministered to sinful man. In truth he ate with gluttons and drank wine with drunkards, and was accused of being such, but in truth He was neither a glutton nor a drunkard. If God could not be in the presence of evil, then Jesus could not have been tempted by the devil as scripture clearly teaches. Jesus was indeed tempted in every way we are and yet did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). The teaching that God cannot look upon evil is not scriptural and is a false teaching which has caused many other false teachings to rise up like a proliferant weed choking out the truth. In Truth the one scripture this false teaching is based on (Habakkuk 1:13) is saying that God’s eyes are so pure that He just can’t look at sin and do nothing about it, not that He has to separate Himself from those who are sinful in order to exist as a pure sinless entity. God is light and in Him no darkness can dwell, so even though He can look upon sinful man, or be in the presence of evil, He cannot be changed by it and will remain forever the one and only holy God of love and truth. If you look at the passage in context you see that Habakkuk is complaining to God about Him choosing the wicked Babylonians who don’t even honor or worship Him to be the ones to punish the people of Israel whom he says are better than the Babylonians. “Lord, you have chosen the Babylonians to punish people; our Rock, you picked them to punish. Your eyes are too good to look at evil; you cannot stand to see those who do wrong. So how can you put up with those evil people? How can you be quiet when the wicked swallow up people who are better than they are?” (Habakkuk 1:12b-13 NCV) People who cling onto this idea that God cannot look on sin claim that when Jesus said when He was dying on the cross. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me.” that God could not look on the sin of the world that was laid upon His Son. But this is not scriptural. In Deuteronomy 31:6-8, Hebrews 13:5 we are told that God will never leave or forsake His chosen ones. A look at Psalms 139 will reveal the error in thinking that God would ever forsake His own ... “Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I lie down in Sh’ol (hell), you are there. If I fly away with the wings of the dawn and land beyond the sea, even there your hand would lead me, your right hand would hold me fast. If I say, ‘Let darkness surround me, let the light around me be night,’ even darkness like this is not too dark for you; rather, night is as clear as day, darkness and light are the same.” Psalms 119:7-12 (Jewish Bible). So why did Jesus say “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me” when he was dying on the cross? This was no doubt a reference to Psalm 22 which He fulfilled at that time, but to say that God turned away from His son because He bore our sins on the cross does not ring true. Remember that Jesus was God in flesh and that the sins of the world were atoned for by the shedding of the blood of the perfect sacrifice ... His fleshly body ... one not tainted by the sin of the first Adam. Remember the first sacrifice ever made which forever set a precedent? God made clothing from the hides of animals for Adam and his wife Eve. Sin can only be atoned for by the blood of an innocent animal. Jesus was innocent … one of the thieves that was being crucified next to Jesus even testified that Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:41). I believe that Jesus said what He did to draw attention to the fact that He was fulfilling God’s promise for a deliverer … not out of the hands of the Romans, but from the bondage of sin and death. No … God did not turn His back on Jesus … for Psalms 119 goes on to say … “For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to His cry for help”. Psalm 119:24 NIV I guess I understand all this because I can relate to what Jesus went through and why He said what He did. There have been times where my journey through life has taken me through dark lonely valleys where I felt God had abandoned me … that He wasn’t listening to my petitions and cries for help… but often it is because we become impatient when we are overwhelmed by our trials in life … but then trials produce patience … and then as we persist we soon see that He has been with us all along. (See Romans 5:3; James 1:3, 4, 12; 5:11; Psalm 46:1). Let us be ever mindful of what God said when he created man …”this is very, very good” (if taken literally would be an exuberant “WOW this is so good … I am so happy I made man”). God so loved the world that He gave over His only begotten Son to be crucified for the sins of ALL men and that those who believe will NEVER perish but have eternal life. NOTE: Only those who believe and be spiritually reborn will enter the kingdom of heaven and so be with the Lord forever.
Lastly … Guardian Angels … what does the word of God say. In fact with the exception for a handful of modern translations, nowhere is “guardian angel” found in the word of God. For example, Acts 12:15 talks about how one of the women saw Jesus after he arose from the tomb and his disciples scoffed thinking her crazy and said it must be His angel (angel of the Lord), and not Jesus himself. Some translations say His “guardian” angel or note it as such. We must be careful not to base a doctrine solely on one vague reference to “guardian angel” which is probably taken out of context or just the opinion of a few translators (not the majority I might add). It is more than likely they were saying she did not see Jesus in the flesh, but one of His (God’s) angels (“malach” - messenger) , whereas in fact she actually did see Jesus in the flesh for He had not yet ascended into heaven … this did not take place until 40 days later on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:1-12). The tried and trusted King James Version does not make any reference to guardian angels. There are only a few references made to guardian angels in the Contemporary Version, Amplified Version, Expanded Bible, God’s Word Translation, Good News Translation, Knox Bible, Names of God Bible, New Living Translation, and The Voice. However not all agree what verses can be translated in this manner which I found amusing. In Matthew 18:10 Jesus says “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” From this it would seem that God assigns angels to minister to His children (those who believe in Him) … but to call them guardian angels might be stretching things a bit, since the word of God does not specifically call them that. We are to be careful not to add to or take away from God’s word. Although many translations mention that Lucifer was at one time an anointed guardian cherub … the King James Version makes no reference to him being a guardian cherub …but renders it “cherub who covers” and “covering cherub”. The Jewish bible renders it “You were a keruv, protecting a large region” and “protecting keruv” (the Hebrew “keruv” is translated “cherub” or “cherubim”). Lucifer was the chief angel only next to God Himself in authority and power. Little wonder why so many angels listened to him when he decided to rebel against God’s authority after the sin of pride consumed him. The only problem was that the difference between the Creator’s power and the ones He created is vastly different … Lucifer never had a chance and it was the insanity caused by pride that made him think he could ever fill God’s shoes. Pride totally blinded him to the truth … but since there is no truth in him that is to be expected I suppose. I have a nephew that is a chronic liar … he has issues let’s say. He actually believes his lies … I can see a parallel here. I would stay away from paying too much attention to this guardian angel epidemic … some have taken it so far as to actually go into angel worship. I know that is what Satan wants … to be worshiped, but in truth … God wants you to worship Him alone and not His creation … so let’s drop this fascination with guardian angels … it should not be our focus. It is dangerous to get our eyes off Jesus and get sidetracked.
Consider the rendering of “guardian angel” in the following translations as mentioned previously: Note that not all of these versions are in agreement as to what passages should render the word for these angels as “chief princes”, “archangels” or as “guardian angels”. Again it should be noted that the trusted King James Version makes no reference to “guardian angels” … the same is true for many other modern translations.
Daniel 10:21 - But I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth or the Book of Truth. There is no one who holds with me and strengthens himself against these [hostile spirit forces] except Michael, your prince [national guardian angel].
Ezekiel 28:16 - Through the abundance of your commerce you were filled with lawlessness and violence, and you sinned; therefore I cast you out as a profane thing from the mountain of God and the guardian cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire.
Common English Bible
Acts 12:15 - “You’ve lost your mind!” they responded. She stuck by her story with such determination that they began to say, “It must be his guardian angel.”
Deuteronomy 32:8 - that God Most High gave land to every nation. He assigned a guardian angel to each of them,
Daniel 10:13 - But the guardian angel of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, who is one of the strongest guardian angels, came to rescue me from the kings of Persia.
Daniel 10:20 - Then the angel said: Now do you understand why I have come? Soon I must leave to fight against the guardian angel of Persia. Then after I have defeated him, the guardian angel of Greece will attack me.
Daniel 10:21 - I will tell you what is written in The Book of Truth. But first, you must realize that no one except Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, is on my side.
Expanded Bible version
Revelation 1:20 - Here is the ·secret [mystery] of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the ·angels or messengers; these may be guardian angels, human leaders, or the personified “spirit” of each church] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
God’s Word version
Ezekiel 28:16 - You traded far and wide. You learned to be violent, and you sinned. So I threw you down from God’s mountain in disgrace. The guardian angel forced you out from the fiery stones.
Good News version
Daniel 10:20-21 - He said, “Do you know why I came to you? It is to reveal to you what is written in the Book of Truth. Now I have to go back and fight the guardian angel of Persia. After that the guardian angel of Greece will appear. There is no one to help me except Michael, Israel's guardian angel.
Knox Bible version
The Acts 12:15 - Thou art mad, they told her, but she still insisted that it was so; and then they said, It must be his guardian angel.
Living Bible version is “guardian angel” happy … renders angels in 43 passages of scripture as “guardian angels”. If you’re a “guardian angel” fanatic this is the version for you.
Names of God Bible version
Ezekiel 28:16 - You traded far and wide. You learned to be violent, and you sinned. So I threw you down from Elohim’s mountain in disgrace. The guardian angel forced you out from the fiery stones.
New Living version
Ezekiel 28:14 - I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.
The Voice version
Psalm 91:5 - Psalm 91 is a beautiful psalm of trust in God. But how does God take care of all His people, all at the same time? Well, keep reading because Psalm 91 is one of just a few places in Scripture that describe what we might call “guardian angels” (Exodus 23:20; Psalm 43:3). Though rare, these passages teach that God is not alone in maintaining and protecting His creation and His people. He has made a host of heavenly messengers ready to do His bidding, and His bidding is often to guard His people throughout their lives and protect them—sometimes from dangers they are not even aware of. You will not dread the terrors that haunt the night or enemy arrows that fly in the day
Acts 12:15 - Praying Believers: Rhoda, you’re crazy! Rhoda: No! Peter’s out there! I’m sure of it! Praying Believers: Well, maybe it’s his guardian angel or something.
Allot of versions render angel in Ezekiel 28:14 and 16 as “guardian cherub”:
Ezekiel 28:14 - You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
Ezekiel 28:16 - In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Matthew 18:10 (NIV) - “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Jesus says we must be like a child (young children are trusting, innocent and readily accept what they are told … pliable in the Potter’s hand) …read this passage in context to grasp the whole meaning. It would seem that God assigns angels to minister to his children … but to call them guardian angels might be stretching things a bit, since the word of God does not specifically call them that. We are to be careful not to add to or take away from God’s word. We are not to worship angels or pray to angels or to place our hope in them or dwell on them… for like us they are only creations of God, created to serve God. It is only Him we are to worship and direct our prayers to and place our hope in … no one or nothing else, for anything else other than divine worship in our creator God is idolatry.
These version do not translate angels in any passage as “guardian angel” … American Standard Version, 21st Century King James, Complete Jewish Bible, Darby Translation, Easy-To-Read Version, English Standard Version, 1959 Geneva Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, J.B. Phillips New Testament, Jubilee Bible 2000, King James Version, Lexham English Bible, The Message, New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New English Translation, New International Reader’s Version, New International Version, New King James Version, New Life Version, New Revised Standard Version, Orthodox Jewish Bible, Revised Standard Version, World English Bible, Wycliffe Bible, Young’s Literal Translation.
Of the above … the following versions have rendered angels as “guardian cherub” in Ezekiel 28:14 and 16 … so basically “guardian angel” …just a different way of saying it :- English Standard Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Lexham English Bible, New English Translation, New International Reader’s Version, New International Version, New Revised Standard Version, and Revised Standard Version.
The versions considered “guardian angel” free are in bold lettering in the list above. I was surprised that the ESV version did not make the list, but I still like it. It is one of the better modern translations of the bible in my opinion. The tried and true King James Version of the Bible is the most read and revered translation. It is always good to have one on hand as a cross reference.