Listen:  89 Question 3

In the scriptures, there are only three angels that we know the names of, and they are all masculine names.  In the book of Jude, verse 9 we read of the archangel.  That says, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”  Gabriel was the angel sent to tell Zacharias that he would have a son, John the Baptist.  He also appeared to Mary to tell her that she would have a son, Jesus.  Luke 1:26-31 says, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”  Of course, the other angel whose name is given is Lucifer as we read in Isaiah 14:12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

In their natural state, angels are spirits as we read in Hebrews 1:13-14, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”  At times, they have taken on the form of humans, but they have always appeared in the masculine form.  We read in Genesis 18:1-2, “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.”  I encourage you to read this entire chapter where you will see that these three men were actually the Lord and two angels.  The angel in the empty tomb of the Lord Jesus is described as a man in Mark 16:5-6, “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”

Sometimes angels are in the form of winged creatures.  We read of the seraphim in Isaiah 6:1-3, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  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.”

There is a portion in Zechariah that some have thought represented female angels.  Zechariah 5:7-11 says, “And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.  And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.”  As you can see, there were three women mentioned here.  In reading the entire chapter, we see the language is highly symbolic and cannot be taken to be literal angels.

The word ‘angel’ literally means a messenger.  In the New Testament, the Greek word for angel is ‘aggelos’ which is always in the masculine gender.  There are no instances in the scriptures where an angel is referred to in the feminine gender.  As the scriptures always describe angels in the masculine, so should we.  We should also realize the importance of the gender of the Lord.  There is God, the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit who is always referred to in the masculine gender.  (89.3)