Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Angels We Have Heard On High

Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve Him, though created higher than man. They are found throughout the bible and are used by God for many purposes; messengers, servants, and warriors. The word Angel comes from the Greek word "angelos" which means "messenger". Angels are mentioned in the Bible 196 times,  103 in times in the Old Testament, 93 times in the new Testament. The doctrine of angels holds an important place in the Word of God, it is often viewed as a difficult subject because, while there is abundant mention of angels in the Bible, the information is always incidental with another subject. 

Angels are generally referred to in military terms: a host of angels means an army of angels. Hosts correlates with the Hebrew word "tsaba" which means army. Other terms are "Heavenly Host" (from Sabaoth which means large army) and encampment. Angels don't have bodies of flesh but they have the ability to appear in human form. They praise God, carry messages for God, they watch over God's people, and sometimes they're the instruments of God's Punishment:
49 "So it will be at the end of the age, the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous. 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:49-50)
Other than fallen angels there are several kinds of angels. There's two main types, Isaiah 6:2-3 describes the Seraphim
2 "Seraphim stood above him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6:2-3)

Seraphim seem to be the angels that stay closest to God. "Seraphim" is possibly a translation of 'fiery ones' and possibly that term comes from the fiery imagery often associated with the presence of God. They praise and proclaim the perfect holiness of God. The seraphim also express the holiness of God in that they proclaim that man must be cleansed of sin’s moral defilement before he can stand before God and serve Him.

Cherubim are  the highest class of Angels. They were created with indescribable powers and beauty. They are proclaimers and protectors of God’s glorious presence, They stood guard at the gate of the Garden of Eden, preventing sinful man from entering (Gen. 3:24); they were the golden figures covering the mercy seat above the ark in the Holy of Holies (Exod. 25:17–22); and attended the glory of God in Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek. 1). Cherubim had an extraordinary appearance with four faces—that of a man, lion, ox, and eagle. They had four wings and feet like a calf, gleaming like burnished bronze. In Ezekiel 1 they attended the glory of God preparatory for judgment.

One of the interesting things in bible prophesy the word "Star" is often used to describe an Angel, here's a couple of good examples:
“As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." (Rev. 1:20)
And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. (Rev. 12:4)
Verses referring to stars as angels abound in the Bible, both in the new and old testament. Now, knowing that the Bible tends to call angels "stars" lets look a the nativity story again:
9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (Matthew 2:9-10)
Doesn't knowing that the possibility that the Star of Bethlehem is not some atmospheric anomaly or a random planetary alignment make the Nativity of Jesus that much more awesome?

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