December 31, 2009

Angel Time!

Anne Rice has a new book that peaked my interest: Angel Time

This got me wondering about named Angels. Using the bible as a source I was struck by the name scarcity. Five of these beings are named, two of which are fallen.

Gabriel: One of the best-known angels is a messenger of God. He appears in the Book of Daniel and in Luke’s Gospel. Gabriel appeared twice to the prophet Daniel. One of those appearances was to explain the meaning of a vision that he had experienced. (Dan. 8: 16) The second visit was to explain a prophecy that God had revealed to Daniel that he did not understand. (Dan. 9:21)

Gabriel had the privilege of announcing the future births of John the Baptist and Jesus. In Luke’s Gospel, the angel appeared to Zechariah to announce the coming birth of John the Baptist to his wife Elizabeth. (Luke 1: 5-19) Gabriel said this about himself: “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, who sent me to speak to you and tell you this good news.” (Luke 1: 19) The pregnancy was a miracle because Elizabeth bad been unable to bear children up to this point.

It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary. (Luke 1: 26-38) This is the revelation of another miracle, a virgin birth. The angel tells Mary that she has been blessed among women to mother the “Son of God”. He also informs her that her relative Elizabeth is also pregnant. “For there is nothing that God cannot do.” (Luke 1: 37)

Michael: The archangel. Jude describes him as “the chief angel”. (Jude 9) Jude was teaching that even Michael does not condemn the Devil, but leaves that to God. Revelation describes a war in Heaven with Michael leading his angels in a battle victory against Satan. The Devil is thrown out of Heaven and sent to earth. (Rev. 12: 7-9)

Michael is described in the Book of Daniel as “Israel’s guardian angel”. (Dan 10: 21) A prophecy regarding Michael’s role in the end times struggle against evil is revealed to Daniel. (Dan.12: 1)

Raphael: The angel Raphael is revealed in the Book of Tobit. God dispatches Raphael from Heaven to answer the prayers of two Jewish supplicants exiled in Ninevah. Through the work of this angel a blind Tobit is made to see and a young woman is given relief from an evil spirit that keeps killing her husbands. The happy ending is supplied when Tobit’s son marries the young woman. They live happily ever after and Raphael returns to Heaven after revealing his true identity and refusing the earthly rewards offered by Tobit.

Apollyon: Is the “angel in charge of the abyss”. (Rev. 9: 11) his name means “The Destroyer”. He has a Hebrew name also: Abaddon. This is not a good angel.

Satan: An angel but, a fallen one. Revelation 12: 9 describes his fall from Heaven. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 3:6 that Satan was condemned because of pride. Satan appears before God as the accuser and meets with The Lord in the first chapter of Job. Satan’s job is to make trouble for us but his days are numbered as we see in Revelation.

There are hundreds of instances of unnamed angels appearing and working for God as messengers and warriors. Angels visited Lot in Sodom to warn him and protect him. (Genesis: 19) Angels protect God’s people, too. (Psalm 91: 11) Angels are created beings, (Psalm 148: 2-5) don’t marry, (Luke 20:34-36) and are created holy (Genesis 1: 31; Jude 6).

1 comment:

Daniel said...

The Apocrypha is supposed to have a decent amount of writing about angels... I wouldn't know since I haven't read it. It would be interesting to see what it says though.