1. Examine Hebrews 1:3-14,
Luke 24:39, and
Ephesians 6:12. What do you observe about the intrinsic
nature of angels?
Angels are spirit beings who were created without a physical body. In
Luke 24:39, the resurrected Jesus explains to his
apostles that the spirit does not have a physical body.
Spirit beings are of the invisible world and cannot be seen; however,
2 Kings 6:14-17 is an example of where God provided
special vision for humans to perceive angels. It was the story of the king of Aram who sought to capture
the prophet Elisha. Observing king Aram’s forces surrounding their home, Elisha’s servant fears for his
master’s safety. To reassure his servant and revealing his own special vision of angels, Elisha prays
to God and requests that his servant can see the angels protecting them.
Angels lack a physical body, because they were not created in the image of God. This
knowledge adds to the context of Paul’s exhortation to Christians of the spiritual war that they face in
the unseen world in Ephesians 6:10-12.
As spirit beings, each individual angel occupies physical space in a different sense
than humans can understand. In the example of Luke 8:29-30,
a legion of angels resided in one man.
2. How does the nature of angels reconcile with Genesis 18
and 19? What about
Genesis 3:14 and
Revelations 12:7-9? How does this affect your
understanding of the physical appearance of angels?
In Genesis 18 and
19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, God visits Abraham
accompanied by two angels. Abraham perceives them as three men. They eat and wash their feet. Lot and
the men of Gomorrah also perceive the angels as men. The angels spoke, ate, and displayed supernatural
power by blinding the men assaulting the home of Lot. And they also seized Lot and his family to
expedite their departure before the impeding judgment of Gomorrah.
This passage is an example of angels, temporarily with physical bodies, who function as
normal human beings but with supernatural powers. Their appearances are not casual and seem to occur when
there is a task for them to accomplish. In every case, when in the form of human beings, angels have always
appeared as adult males. The Bible does not explain how they get a body or what happens to it when they
In Genesis 3:14 and
Revelation 12:7-9, Satan, who is an angel, appears
as a small serpent and huge dragon. This means that angels can appear in non-human forms and in various
shapes and sizes.
3. Study Mark 12:25,
Luke 20:34-36, and
Matthew 19:5-6. What else do you learn about the nature
In Mark 12:25 and
Luke 20:34-36, Jesus makes a comparison between resurrected humans
and angels, in which marriage does not occur in heaven; thus, angels do not marry.
Angels are immortal and not subject to death; but, because they were created, they
are not eternal.
In Matthew 19:5-6, as Jesus spoke
to the Pharisees about marital relationships, he defined the marriage relationship as including a
sexual relationship ("so they are no longer two, but one flesh"). As spirit beings, angels not only
do not marry, but they do not have sexual or procreative aspects to their nature among themselves.
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