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Angel Worship and the First Commandment

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“Stars are the windows of heaven, where angels peek through,” says a “cute” old song.

Some time ago I received an E-mail saying, “When you find a penny, an angel has tossed it to the ground when you're frowning to give you a smile.” At the end of the message it said, “I hope that you feel as lucky as I do, as I am so very fortunate to be graced with angels such as you in my life.”

This too would be viewed as cute by many, and most realize that the fact that it is cute does not mean it is true. Still, too many people carelessly base their beliefs on what they've always heard or what sounds good.

If you explore the subject of angels in literature and on the Internet, most of what you find is based on fables, myths and popular suppositions (1 Timothy 1:4 1 Timothy 1:4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
American King James Version×
).

We hear stories about guardian angels, angels of protection in time of war and people being helped by angels.

There are movies like Angels in the Outfield or Michael or TV's Touched by an Angel. There are collectible angels, angel booklets and sand pictures of angels. There is some truth but also many misconceptions in these.

What Are Angels?

What is an angel? When we review the Bible we see four main words used to describe angels. In The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible we find the words cherubim (Strong's Hebrew [H] number 3742) or seraphim (H8314) refer to powerful winged creatures that do God's bidding. Also in the Old Testament the word malak (H4397) appears about 195 times and most often is translated as “angel or messenger.” In the New Testament we primarily see the word angelos (Greek 32), which also is primarily translated as “angel.” Some of the purposes of angels are to proclaim key events, provide protection and enforce God's wrath.

Generally, throughout the Bible when the word angel occurs, the angel has the appearance of a man. In addition, there are only three angels mentioned by name: Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer. This is unlike the world's concept that angels appear as women or cute winged babies. Actually, the Bible indicates angels have no gender (Matthew 22:30 Matthew 22:30For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
American King James Version×
).

More Credit Than Due

Many people want to give angels credit. It is as if people want their own little cherub, baby cupid or powerful angel with wings to lift them from adversity or to do their own bidding in personal affairs. They often do this without ever calling on God for help. Some people look to angels almost as their own personal genies.

Some people have a near obsession or near worship of angels. Angels are real, but one must be cautious about giving the credit to angels when the real credit for miracles and answered prayers should go to God!

Angel worship has been around a long time. Colossians 2:18 Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
American King James Version×
(KJV) states: “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (see also verse 8).

As Christians we adhere to the Commandments and should be reminded of the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3 Exodus 20:3You shall have no other gods before me.
American King James Version×
).

The apostle John records this caution about bowing down to or giving more credit to angels (or anyone) than is due: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant…'” (Revelation 19:10 Revelation 19:10And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
American King James Version×
, see also Revelation 22:8-9 Revelation 22:8-9 8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. 9 Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
American King James Version×
).

Gnosticism teaches that angels are necessary intermediaries between God and man. This false teaching claims that knowing about angels enables “one to gain blessings in this life and attain the level of divine in the next” ( Holman Bible Dictionary ).

Let us never forget that Christ alone is our mediator before God (1 Timothy 2:5 1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
American King James Version×
).

We Are in Spiritual Warfare

As Christians, we know we are in a spiritual warfare and our battle is not against flesh and blood, as the apostle Paul warned (Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×
). Deception is never blatantly all evil, but is all too often a blend of good and evil. There is often a dark side to the “cute” and “comical” of the world.

Each of us needs to beware of deception that can come in many forms, for our adversaries are powerful.

People perceive Satan as a funny caricature with a pitchfork or as an ugly, fearsome-looking creature. Most images we have are from art and Hollywood. Yet the Bible says Satan appears as an angel of light to deceive (2 Corinthians 11:14 2 Corinthians 11:14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
American King James Version×
).

In the book of Daniel we see a great struggle between good and evil in the spirit realm. In Daniel 10:12-14 Daniel 10:12-14 12 Then said he to me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, see, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
American King James Version×
(New Living Bible) it says, “Then he said, 'Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.'”

Man—a Special Creation

God created angels and sometimes they are referred to as sons of God, but what about man? Does a man become an angel? The answer is a resounding, No!

At this time we barely comprehend our future glory (1 Corinthians 13:12 1 Corinthians 13:12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
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). We have been made a little lower than the angels, but will be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the resurrection and will truly be made glorified sons of God (Hebrews 2:6-8 Hebrews 2:6-8 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him? 7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands: 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
American King James Version×
; 1 John 3:2 1 John 3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
American King James Version×
; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
American King James Version×
).

Angels Bring God's Wrath and Protection

Angels are messengers. Angels are used to announce great events such as the pronouncement to Joseph and Mary concerning the birth of Christ. God also warns and punishes the nations using angels throughout the book of Revelation.

God also uses angels to give protection. In 2 Kings 6:15-17 2 Kings 6:15-17 15 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 to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray you, 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.
American King James Version×
we read that the servant of Elisha was terribly afraid of the Syrian army surrounding them. But Elisha knew God's protection was already there, saying, “'Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' And Elisha prayed, and said, 'Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Then the Syrian army was struck with blindness and sent back toward Samaria without capturing Elisha.

Each one of us can call upon God and pray to God for protection through His Spirit and His ministering angels. We have a promise from God in Psalms 91:10-11 Psalms 91:10-11 10 There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
American King James Version×
, “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

Many of us have our personal stories to tell about how we feel God sent angels to deliver us from dangerous situations. These were situations where someone inadvertently got into trouble. We would never want to foolishly do something just to tempt or test God (Matthew 4:7 Matthew 4:7Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
American King James Version×
).

The Truth About Angels

God created angels as ministering spirits, but some rebelled at the behest of Satan. However, most remained loyal. God's angels truly bring protection, announcements of great events and warnings before enforcing God's wrath. They are powerful beings who do God's bidding and are never to be worshiped.

The truth about angels has been twisted and distorted into a confusing assortment of fables and myths. People have wanted their senses titillated and they like to hear smooth things that lack true spiritual substance.

So often there is a constant barrage of falsehood that even true Christians must guard their thoughts, actions and beliefs. God alone is worthy of worship (Isaiah 37:16 Isaiah 37:16O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwell between the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: you have made heaven and earth.
American King James Version×
)!

Do not let anyone take your crown through false religion, philosophy or the inordinate esteem or worship of angels.

Idolatry, carelessness, neglect and disobedience to God's commands can prevent us from entering the Kingdom of God (Revelation 22:14-15 Revelation 22:14-15 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
American King James Version×
). UN

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