'Dear Bill, Can I Trust Your Angel Knowledge?'
Our columnnist responds to a reader's curiosity about his expertise.
- How do you know your knowledge is correct?
- Who owns the largest angel collection?
- Did Lucifer have the power to create?
My answer is very simple actually. No, I am not God. And no, I have not had a vision. I do answer questions with assurance but not because I think that I and I alone know the facts about angels. This column is written from the perspective of what is taught in the Bible and millions (though not all Christians) share the views I express. You will note that at the end of each column, Beliefnet identifies that I am writing as a Christian pastor.
Beliefnet also features articles written by authors from other traditions and viewpoints. “The Big Book of Angels,” compiled by Beliefnet, has chapters written by contributors from many traditions and world religions.
Here is a brief summary of the biblical teachings about angels. The theological term is Angelology. My answers are based on this framework. Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament (Chafer, “Systematic Theology,” II, 3). Hence, there is ample information available in the scripture that allows us to build a foundation for our knowledge on angelic beings.
- In the scripture when angels appear in human form, it is only a momentary appearance for those who need to see them.
- The holy angels are sent by God to do his will both in heaven and on earth.
- Angels are still active in our world today, but their roles and ministries are always consistent with what is found in the Bible.
- Angels are spirit beings. Each angel has been created directly by God as an angel (Psalm 148: 2-5).
- Angels are personal spirits. They have personal wills and the ability to make choices (Hebrews 1:6). The holy angels always choose to carry out God’s purposes.
- Angels are extremely powerful beings. They are stronger than man, (Psalm 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11) but only God is all powerful.
- Angels have great knowledge and wisdom, but only God knows everything. They are greater than man in knowledge. (2 Samuel 14:20; Matthew 24:36).
- An angel can only be in one place at a time. They not omnipresent (Daniel 9:21-23, 10:10-14).
William D. Webber
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