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"Los Angels" of Scripture... Not California!

Angels are intelligent creatures that exist beyond or between the observable space and time dimensions of the universe.  These beings are subject to spiritual laws but not necessarily to all natural laws. One third of the angels in the universe are in rebellion against GOD and are called fallen angels or demons. The remaining two-thirds serve the living GOD and can make contact with human beings in the space and time dimensions of the universe, if GOD so desires.

We as human beings manifest a capacity that not even the most highly intelligent animals possess. We have the ability to discern dimensions beyond the ones that are physically experienced. We may even interact, knowingly or not, with spiritual beings from beyond our physically experienced dimensions. According to the Bible, human beings may sometimes be allowed to see, hear, interact and speak with angels, mistaking them for humans.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Hebrews 13:2

Sometimes people know, or come to recognize, angels as messengers from the spiritual, or extra-dimensional realm, as we see in the following accounts of Abraham and Daniel's interactions with angels.

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:  Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.  And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.  And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.  And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.  And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.  And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the LORD said, shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  Genesis 18:1-19

In many biblically recorded cases of their appearance on Earth, the people who saw and heard them responded with terror. The following account by Daniel illustrates an angel's impact on him personally.

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.  In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.  And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.  And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.  Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.  Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.  For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.  Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.  But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.  Daniel 10

Daniel explains, as noted above, that when the angel started speaking, he (Daniel) passed out, and the angel had to help him to his feet. The angel's purpose in coming to Daniel was to give him a message about the future, to let him know what is written in "the scripture of truth," as the angel called it. The angel also reported his intense conflict with a fallen angel, specifically with the demon who held some measure of authority over Persia. This demon had the power to detain the angel for twenty-one days.

Because we are beings that have a spiritual component to our make up, we humans can pray. Through prayer we can cross the space-time continuum of the cosmos and actually converse with GOD in His extra-dimensional realm. Because prayer is extra-dimensional in its reach, it must be considered the most powerful capacity GOD has made available to us in dimensions in which we currently exist. 

The angels we most usually see in paintings and sculptures typically have feminine or childlike features, golden halos, and wings ranging from tiny to huge and flamboyant. Many artistic portrayals more closely resemble the traditional image of Cupid than they do the biblical description of angels. The Bible does tell us that angels are mighty and holy.

Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.  Psalm 103:20

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.  Revelation 14:10

Scripture also pronounces that angels are mightier than men.

Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 2 Peter 2:11

Angels are able to somehow defy the laws of physics, and survive the experience.

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?  Matthew 26:53

Angels are subject neither to decay nor to death. They can be visible or invisible to humans, sometimes both!

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17

From these biblical accounts and others, we learn that angels' capacities reflect their existence in at least some of GOD's dimensions outside the four of the universe.length, breadth, height and time. Compared to GOD, however, angels are limited. The Bible indicates that GOD alone is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Angels are not. Though angels have access to more dimensions than we humans do, they still occupy a limited dimensionality, as we do. Though they are able to exercise extraordinary power, they are created beings, as we are, incapable of creating any other beings.  Unlike humans, they do not marry or procreate.

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.  Matthew 22:30

GOD apparently endowed certain angelic beings with power and authority above others.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,  Ephesians 3:9-10

Though many different ranks of angels may exist, the Bible mentions only three types.

The highest order appears to be the cherubim. Cherubim are a special order of angelic beings with a unique role in directing and expressing worship toward GOD. Satan identified as the most powerful and exalted of all the angels before his rebellion was a cherub.

Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.  Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.  Ezekiel 28:12-19

No creatures in all Scripture, other than GOD Himself, give observers a more difficult descriptive task. Descriptions are none less than amazing. Depictions by the prophet Ezekiel

 and the apostle John

represent arduous endeavors to portray extra-dimensional features that far surpass what we humans can comprehend or imagine and far surpass the capacities and attributes shared by the lower ranks of angels. The cherubim alone are entrusted with certain tasks in protecting GOD's glory and holiness and in proclaiming His grace. What all these tasks entail we cannot yet begin to imagine.  Someday we will possibly see these creatures face to face.

The general appearance of the cherubim was somewhat like a man, but there are some major differences.  Each of the cherubim had four faces and four wings...their legs were straight, which implies that they were standing upright, but their feet were calf-like instead of human, and were like burnished bronze.  Ezekiel said the four cherubim also had human-like hands.  Having four faces on four sides of their heads and being connected in a square, they were able to travel straight in any direction, and to change direction without turning.  One face is the face of a man, one a lion, one an ox, and one an eagle.  Two wings cover their bodies in reverence before GOD.  The other two wings are outstretched so their tips touch the wing tips of angels on each side.  When they use these two wings to fly, they make a great noise.  

Unlike other angels, the cherubim never convey instructions or messages from GOD to human beings.  They are also never directly called angels.  The first time they appear in the Bible is at the gate of the Garden of Eden.  They guarded it with flaming swords after Adam and Eve were evicted, thus teaching us that sin and paradise are incompatible.

The cherubim seem to be important in the Old Testament history of Israel.  When GOD gave the plans for the tabernacle, He instructed that two golden cherubs be placed on the mercy seat which was the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.  The cherubs faced each other from opposite ends of the Ark with outstretched wings.  The design of the cherubim was also woven into the curtains in the tabernacle.  When Solomon's temple was built, the skilled workmen carved the design of cherubim into walls and doors and constructed huge figures of them.

Seraphim are a Hebrew term for "burning ones.

This title probably refers neither to fire as we know it nor to the consuming judgment. Rather, it expresses the passionate devotion of a particular order of angelic beings to praise and proclaim all creation of GOD's holiness and majesty. Though these angels, too, are awesome to behold, they pose at least a little less difficulty for humans to describe than do the cherubim.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Isaiah 6:2-7

In the book of Isaiah, Isaiah saw GOD seated on His throne in the temple.  Flying above Him were astonishing beings called seraphim. As stated above, the word "seraphim" literally denotes "burning ones."  These angels stay so close to GOD that they shine with a holy brilliance.  This is not to surprising when considering the nature of GOD.  GOD is light in Him is no darkness at all...anything around Him for long might end up very bright indeed.  

Seraphim have six wings.  Two wings cover their faces in reverence, or maybe protection, from the awesome power of the Almighty GOD.  As powerful as angels may be even they need to protect themselves from the brilliance of GOD's glory!  Two wings cover the seraphim feet in humility.  In the Mid-eastern culture, covered feet denote deep humility.  And the last two wings propel them back and forth above the LORD.  The wing configuration signifies that four wings are for worship and two wings are for work.  Perhaps the seraphim are pictured as examples of the importance of worship.  The seraphim also have human features such as feet, hands and voices.  One Seraph carried a burning coal from the altar in his hand.  The voices of the seraphim were so loud they shook the doorposts.  They called back and forth, announcing the LORD's holy character, and one of them pronounced cleansing and forgiveness to Isaiah.  Although they are not called seraphim, the angels in Revelation chapter four seem to fit this same description.  They have six wings and cry "Holy, holy, holy" to the LORD.  One proclamation of "Holy" for each member of the Trinity is possibly seen in the cry of the seraphim.

Archangels are angels of exalted rank and power, sent by GOD to carry out special assignments. It is possible that GOD created more than one archangel. However, only one, Michael, is mentioned by name in the Bible. His specific role is perhaps most comparable to that of a military leader. He is the commander who leads the angelic host against Satan's demonic forces. Michael's ultimate victory over Satan suggests that his powers and abilities may be greater than Satan's.

Michael is very popular in writings outside the Bible.  No angel has more name recognition than Michael.  The Jews believe it was Michael who destroyed the invading Syrian army (2 Kings 19:35).  It is generally believed that Michael's voice will be the one to announce the return of Christ and the rapture of the church.  Some Bible scholars pronounce that when Paul says that the voice of the archangel will be heard at the Rapture of the church, he does not seem to feel the need to name that archangel, which might support the conclusion that there is only one archangel.

Soon, Michael and his angels will be locked in the titanic struggle of the universe at the last conflict of the age, which will mark the defeat of Satan and all the forces of darkness. Scripture tells us in advance that Michael will finally be victorious in the battle.  Hell will tremble and heaven will rejoice and celebrate! 

There is one more angel, mentioned by name in scripture.  He is Gabriel.  Gabriel means "Mighty One of GOD."  Luke calls him the "angel of the LORD."  Gabriel describes himself as one who stands in the presence of GOD.  Gabriel is GOD's special messenger angel.  Gabriel appeared four times in the Bible, and he always brought good news.

He came swiftly to answer Daniel's prayer at the end of the Babylonian captivity.  It was Gabriel who, 500 years later, announced the birth of John the Baptist.  And, it was Gabriel who announced the birth of Jesus Christ.

So, Michael is the protecting and fighting angel, and Gabriel is the preaching or announcing angel.  Each of them has his own job description and carries out GOD's will in perfection.

An interesting thought on which to meditate involves the three angels named in scripture.Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer.  There are those who say that each of these three angels at one time was associated with a corresponding member of the trinity.  Michael in all his power and might is associated with GOD the Father.  Gabriel the Mighty One of GOD with the "good news" is associated with GOD the Son.  Finally Lucifer was at one time before his fall associated directly with GOD the Holy Spirit. 

While this association of angels with GOD almighty is only speculation it is interesting.  Think about traits or specialties that Satan may possess and how they might have been used for the glory of GOD in times past, especially associated with the Holy Spirit.  An obvious example might be music.  Music could be used in worship.  Music could be used for sinister purposes.  Music is powerful in human beings.  Music can and does bring out human emotions. all emotions.  Ever thought that Satan might use music to harm humans in any way?  Ever read about conditioning using music.  Can human behavior beinfluenced or changed by music? Nah.probably not!  Since Satan, might affect his influence in music and is a limited creature, is it possible that many of the tunes to which we now hear in popular music were heard centuries ago in popular music of long ago?  Who knows?  Something to think about perhaps!

There is an account in the book of Matthew that might take on a slightly different flavor if Satan was indeed at one time intimately associated with the Holy Spirit.  Read the verses below and meditate.

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:  And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?  And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.  He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.  Matthew 12:22-32

Though the dimensionality and capacities of the angels supersede ours by what seems a vast margin, we have the opportunity and capacity to comprehend certain spiritual realities that mystify angels.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  Ephesians 3:9-11

Evidently in the life that continues past our physical death or the rapture (which ever comes first), we humans who are the Bride of Christ will be assigned as "judges" of the angels.  Imagine that!

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?   And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels?  How much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

For now, GOD deploys angels to perform supernatural acts of service on behalf of those individuals who are heirs of salvation or those who will one day be saved by the blood of Jesus.Hey that's us!

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?  Hebrews 1:14

Some of those around us have had experiences with angels and know it well.  Others have had angels directly minister and know it not.  It is interesting to think how many angels, fallen or otherwise are close to us every day, either in this continuum of space or time or outside it (but close none the same).  Have we entertained angels and not known it?  Have angels saved our skin a time or two?  Someday soon we may not only see them, but also judge them.and we will not be going to California to do it.most amazing.

Be blessed and meditate or meditate and be blessed!!!!.. the choice is yours!!
Dr. Hugh Ross, "Beyond the Cosmos", NavPress 1996.
Light of the Canyon Church,
Bible History Online,
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry,
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