Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who
shall be heirs of salvation?
So says the writer to the Hebrews of ‘Angels’… that is
‘angels of God’ [Heb 1:6-7] ‘..And let all the angels of God
worship him. 7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.’
Who then are the ‘heirs of salvation’?
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that
we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be
also glorified together.
Hence Angels are spirits that minister to the heirs of
salvation, which are the children of God.
In the English Bible the word Angel, is almost always a
translation of either the Hebrew word ‘Malak’
or the Greek word Angelos,[from
which the English word Angel is derived.]
Both ‘Malak’ and ‘Angelos’ simply mean ‘messenger’, - and in many
places this is exactly how the English translation reads – as an earthly
messenger, i.e. one person conveying a message to another person. At
other times the translators chose to use the word Angel, a judgement made
on the basis of whether the writer describes an earthly messenger or a
The various Bible versions available appear to agree on
occasions ‘Angel’ is used as opposed to ‘messenger’, almost without
It is apparent that in modern English the principal meaning
of the word ‘Angel’ is ‘a celestial being’. It is important to bear this
fact in mind, because popular culture inescapably defines how scripture
is read and understood, and consequently the word ‘Angel’ today implies
certain stereotypes. Images such as chubby winged babies, erroneously
called Cherubs, to tall, white robed, halo wearing, harp playing, cloud
dwelling, be-winged figures.
Wings figure large in most images of Angels, yet the first
examples of God’s Messengers at work in the Bible does not mention them,
indeed the context of the narrative actually precludes them, [cf Gen 18:1-3,19:1] - these beings appear as ordinary
men to those who see them.
What also is clear from these descriptions is that although
very significant, the appearance of Angels as men to men is also a
relatively rare event, where as Jesus confirms that the number of Angels
which exist as spirits, is very great, for at least each ‘child’ is allotted
Take heed that ye despise not one of
these little ones; for I say unto you, That in
heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in
It is important to recognise that the children Jesus speaks
of are in fact the children of the Kingdom
Matthew 18:3 And said,
Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of
in Matt. 26:53 Jesus says; ‘Do you think I cannot call on
my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve
legions of angels?
Roman legion numbered about 6,000 soldiers; such an army would have
comprised of more than 72,000 angels, and could easily have laid waste to
again in the Gospels on the occasions Angels are described as appearing
as people to people, the description is of men.
24: 4 & 23
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two
men stood by them in shining garments:
And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also
seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
Given this, why then does the winged stereotype arise? A
visit to many a church building explains all. Where in the traditional
stained glass windows Angels are shown having wings. The origin of this
convention is straightforward; in the Middle Ages the stained glass
window was more than a decoration. Most people were illiterate and these
pictures illustrated to them the Bible they could not read.
To distinguish between Angels and men, the medieval artists
gave their Angels wings, the saint’s halos and so on. This practise
serves as an example of how the religious traditions of one generation
becomes fossilised, to serve as a stumbling block for those which follow;
for when Angel is read in the English Bible text, too often it is this, a
winged pre-conception born of medieval necessity, that is seen by the
minds eye, rather than God’s Messenger of the original text.
Another hand me down is the concept of the fallen celestial
being, this time an idea borrowed from Jewish fable, and as Paul warns; Titus 1:14
Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from
One such myth is that angels can father
children, however physical relations between people, presupposes that
the persons involved are people, [that is flesh and spirit] and not
simply spirits, yet angels are spirits by nature
4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a
Any sexual relationship between an angel and a
person would require a fully human body created in adult form, for the
messenger spirit to occupy.
While the bible records that angels do, on rare
occasions, appear as men to men, this only happens when they are sent by
God to speak directly to a specific person or persons. Since the natural
state of an angel is spiritual, it can only be God who, as the sole
author of the angel’s very form, purpose, and existence, that lends to
the angel the appearance of human form, for the reason of bringing a
specific message. For God’s power and authority is absolute.
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this;
that power belongeth unto God.
There is no good reason therefore to assume that
angels possess power of their own to appear human, since all power and
authority belongs solely to God.
As Jesus taught
30 For in the resurrection they neither
marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. Matthew 22:30
Clearly heavenly angels as spirits are sexless,
and since God embodies these spirits, as God deems necessary, for a
specific purpose, to advance the proposition that embodied angels might
rebel against their express purpose and sin is precisely the subject
Peter deals with in his second letter saying [2
Peter 2:4], that ‘God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent
them to hell, putting them in gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.’
Peter then further warns [2 Peter 2:10-11] ‘Bold and
arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even
angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring
slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.’
To understand Peters argument we have to first recognise
that the bible actually refers to different kinds of Angels, – that is
spirit beings who act as messengers.
Type one – Angels of God - that is elect angels
10:3; 1 3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an
angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one
before another, doing nothing by partiality.
Type two – other angels
And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness,
but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. 15 And they said
unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so.
Then said they, It is his angel.
Peter has just been released miraculously from prison, his fellow
believers not knowing this first assumed the woman Rhoda was mad, before
assuming that she had seen a spirit – one that a least looked liked Peter
– which they called his angel.
the term angel i.e. messenger is not used solely of God’s elect
Jesus says Matthew 25:31,41
31 When the Son of man shall come in his
glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the
throne of his glory:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on
the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared
for the devil and his angels:
we see ‘holy angels’ against ‘the devil and his angels’
However it is God who commands and controls all things
He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation,
and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
must be understood in the context of 1 Samuel 16:14
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from
the LORD troubled him.
Understanding this we can see that evil angels, and evil
spirits are by their nature evil, they are not fallen from an earlier
state of grace, they are simply evil.
More over we can recognise celestial beings as elect angels
i.e. angels that ‘always
behold the face of my Father which is in heaven’.
You can’t get more heavenly, more celestial, than beholding the face of
Hence the angels that sinned, those that are chained in Tartaros the deepest abyss of Hades, are evil
spirits, evil angels which are by their nature evil, even ‘angels’ [i.e.
spirits who are not celestial] ‘do not bring slanderous accusations
against such beings [i.e. celestial spirits, that is elect angels] in the
presence of the Lord. [Remembering God is everywhere – see Ps 139 7-8]’
Hence the boldness, or is that stupidity of the false teachers who accuse
these messengers of God of sin!
What then can we conclude about these celestial beings?
They are clearly great in number, since for every ‘child’
there is an angel that is always before God. Yet these beings are rarely
seen in a physical sense appearing to men, as men. How then are these celestial and elect angels
‘all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be
heirs of salvation?’ When only a relatively small number of these many
spirits, which are heavenly Angels, have been seen as people, coming to
put we are also Spiritual beings
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it
is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones,
as ye see me have.
the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your
whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet some have said that the sons of God are angels:
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present
themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Saying that these ‘sons of God’ as described here in Job,
are angels, however as we have already seen, the writer to the Hebrews
observes ‘Are [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to
minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation’ Are we to conclude
that angels are sent forth to minister to themselves?
Thus these sons of God can only be people, as Jesus said.’
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not
written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto
whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Jesus quoted Psalm 82:
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of
the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the
Who are these ‘children of the most High’?
22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is
my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he
may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy
son, even thy firstborn.
Ye are the children of the LORD your God:
So why should we be confused when the scripture says ‘the
sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD’ Do we not present
ourselves before God in prayer and worship? Does not Scripture say ‘For where two or three are gathered
together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’. Matthew 18:20
Did not Job say Job 19:25
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall
stand at the latter day upon the earth:
If Job testified this, would his people be ignorant of his
Does not the Prophet say
6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer
the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there
is no God. [Isaiah 44:6] Saying ‘thou, O LORD, art our father, our
redeemer; thy name is from everlasting’. [Isaiah 63:16]
Job knew his God, his father, his redeemer and Saviour, thus
Job was one of the sons of God in that time - Men who knew their God.
However we first see the title sons of God in Genesis 6:2
'That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they
were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.'
Clearly these were men, who being called sons of God knew
God as their father, and had in that time great status, however these
same men fell into sin, and perished, as we know Ps 82:7 But ye shall die
like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Let us now consider Job 38:4-7
4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its
foundations fastened? Or who laid its corner stone, 7 When the morning
stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [NKJV]
God asked Job - Where wast thou
when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast
understanding. [Job 38:4]
Can you answer that question, do you know where you were
when God ‘laid the foundations of the earth?’
Some people think this an odd question, saying, Job was not
born! Why would God ask such a question?
Yet God asks ‘Who determined its measurements?’ saying
‘Surely you know!’ [Job 38:5 NKJV]
Why would Job know, how could Job have witnessed this?
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the
sons of God shouted for joy?
Who were these sons of God?
For has not God said ‘Thus saith the LORD, Israel is
my son, even my firstborn:’
is God’s firstborn, who are these sons who shout at the foundation of the
world – how is it they exist before Jacob was born? How can Israel be
God’s first born, if these sons who shouted existed first - could it be
that Jacob was among them?
Indeed was Job among them? Was this why God asked him ‘Where
wast thou when I laid the foundations of the
Saying ‘5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!’
It is clear our first and foremost state is a spiritual one,
that we existed first as a spirit to which was added a mortal soul and
God said to Job - ‘Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who
laid the corner stone thereof;’ [Job 38:6]
know of this cornerstone, as Peter says in 1 Peter 2:6
‘Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I
lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth
on him shall not be confounded.’
Paul says Ephesians 2:20 ‘Jesus Christ himself being the
chief corner stone;’
And 1 Corinthians
‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus
It is upon Jesus everyman builds, because it is Jesus the
Word, that gives everyone life.
Look at Job 27:2 'As God liveth, who hath taken away my
judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul; 3All the while my
breath [= n^eshamah] is in me, and the spirit
[= ruwach ] of God is in my nostrils;'
Here Spirit = ruwach is the same
Spirit as spoken of in Genesis 'And the [Spirit = ruwach]
of God moved upon the face of the waters.' Gen 1.1
Psalm 33:5 instructs us 'By the word of the LORD were the heavens made;
and all the host of them by the [breath = ruwachie Spirit] of his mouth.'
We read in Genesis 2:7
7 And the LORD
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath [= n^eshamah]
of life; and man became a living
there is more to life than just this breath [= n^eshamah] as we observe I the terrible consequences of the flood. Genesis
21 And all
flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of
beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth
upon the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath
of life of all that was in the dry land, died.
of life = literally ‘breath of the spirit of life’ i.e. = both n^eshamah & ruwach
Does not David say?
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in
my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth
right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in
secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
David had substance before his birth, he was made in secret,
that is in the place hid from physical eyes, the realm of the spirit,
In verse 16 he says ‘Your eyes saw my substance, being yet
unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The
days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.' [NKJV]
So the days of David were already written in the Lords book,
before he was formed, it as the scriptures affirm,
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before
him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the
adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good
pleasure of his will,'
Paul teaches God chose us in him, before the foundation of
And the scripture says
‘Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?..’ [Malachi 2:10]
So like David, we had substance, though being yet unformed.
If this is true of us, then more so for Israel,
who sang for joy as God laid the foundations of the world. For ‘Israel is
my son, even my firstborn’
No wonder Paul says of us
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the
world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither
were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish
heart was darkened.
Now we are able to understand how we knew even his eternal
power and Godhead, for we all were there at the creation of the world,
having substance, but yet unformed.
‘God is a Spirit: [John ]
Moses cried .. O God, the God of
the spirits of all flesh,..’ Numbers
And the writer to the Hebrews says ‘Furthermore we have had
fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence:
shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and
live?’ Hebrews 12:9
God is therefore the God of the spirits of all flesh, the
Father of spirits.
What can we conclude – as the writer says God ‘maketh his angels spirits’ this is their
principal and natural state; hence all God’s Angels are ‘ministering
spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation’
and as ministering spirits they minister to the sons of God; the heirs of
salvation, principally as spirits to our spirits.
Thus we can see that our first and foremost condition is a
spiritual one; we are spirits
first and flesh second, the latter only clothes the former.
That God is the Father of our spirit, if we will accept him.