What is meant by the worship of angels?




When Paul talks about the worship of angels right after saying do not judge anyone about Sabbaths, new moon, etc. what is meant by worship of angels? I noticed in Hebrews 2:2 and in James speech in Acts he also mentions angels giving doctrine to man (I think in reference to the Old Testament). I was just wondering is that the same thing?

First, let's make a minor point:

"And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ" (Colossians 2:13-17).

Notice that Paul is addressing Gentile Christians because he mentions that they were physically uncircumcised. Paul's point is that they had been saved from their sins through Christ and not through the Law of Moses (the handwriting of requirements) that was against the Gentiles (because it was given only to Israel). That law was removed by Jesus' death on the cross, so don't let any one (Jewish) judge you in regards to the keeping of regulations or feasts found under that Law because they are only shadows of the New Testament and we are under Christ's law.

People who want to continue to bind the Old Law will read Colossians 2:17 backwards, as if Paul is addressing Jewish Christians and telling them not to worry about Gentiles judging them when they keep the Old Law. But to do so makes the last half of verse 17 meaningless.

"Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God" (Colossians 2:18-19).

Paul continues to warn Christians who came out of Gentile religions not to get caught up in the false teachings of Judaizing teachers. Like most false doctrines, people get caught up in the unseen and what is not mentioned in the Bible. That is because the imagination is a wide open field. Jews (and you can see this among denominational Christians today as well) get caught up in the mystery of angels to the point of building religions around what the Bible does not say concerning angels.

The Old Testament was delivered to men through the work of angels. "For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward" (Hebrews 2:2). This gave tantalizing tidbits of information concerning angels that people have always found fascinating. It was Stephen (not James) who also said, "Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it" (Acts 7:52-53). The worship of angels does not refer to the worship under the Old Law, but the false worship created by men loosely based of some information from the Old Law.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Angels