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What Does The Bible Say About Angels?

These powerful celestial beings have been portrayed in various forms, from ancient history up to modern popular culture. Whether in the form of a cute baby with wings or a scary harbinger of death, angels or angel-like beings can be found in many religions and mythologies all around the world. 

When we look at the Bible, angels are mentioned 165 times in the Old Testament and more than 100 times in the New Testament. Though the word “angel” in the Hebrew translation מלאך (mal’âk) and the Greek ἄγγελος (aggelos) mean “messenger,” both terms used in the Scriptures don’t always apply to celestial beings but also ordinary humans. The Hebrew word sometimes is used to describe a human messenger sent by another man, such as the ones you find in Job 1:14 and 1 Samuel 11:3, or sent by God, such as the ones you find in Haggai 1:13 and Malachi 2:7 and 3:1. The Greek translation of “angel” is very much used to refer to men that you will find in Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:24 and 9:51-52, and Galatians 4:14.

The celestial beings, also sometimes referred to as “sons of God,” are also created supernatural creatures who existed even before God created the world (Job 38:6-7). They are spirits in nature and have no earthly body. However, there were many instances when God allowed them to appear in human form for certain tasks—such as the ones who helped Lot get out of Sodom before the impending judgment of God for the city (Genesis 19) or the one that appeared to the disciples after Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:10-11).

Angels are created by God as sentient beings, having minds (2 Samuel 14:20), feelings (Job 38:7), and free wills (Jude 1:6). They are immortals made to be higher than man (Psalm 8:4-5) and are very powerful beings, though they are not omnipotent (2 Peter 2:11), possess superior knowledge and wisdom compared to man but are not omniscient (1 Peter 1:12), and are not omnipresent like God (Daniel 10:12-14).

God made them holy or “set apart” from sin for His bidding. There are countless numbers of them living in heaven (Daniel 7:10), but one-third of them were cast down along with satan when he rebelled against God (Revelation 12:3-4). That gave existence to what is called evil angels, fallen angels, or demons.

The remaining good angels are the ones serving God. They serve God in various ways, such as being used by God to answer believers’ prayers (Acts 12:7) and as messengers (Acts 10:3-33), guardians (Acts 12:15), encouragement (Acts 27:23-24), care (1 Kings 19:7), and guidance (Genesis 19:17) for God’s people.

Scripture mentions the various classes of angels such as: 

  1. Seraphim – fiery and burning angels with six wings, such as the one you find in Isaiah 6:2.
  2. Cherubim – first mentioned as an angel guarding the way to the tree of life in Eden with a flaming sword (Genesis 3:24).
  3. Archangel – means chief angel and is a warrior angel (Jude 1:9). Michael is the only named archangel.
  4. Other ranks, such as thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, as mentioned in Colossians 1:16.

Though angels are heavenly beings, they should not be worshipped (Colossians 2:18), nor do we allow them to influence us with any message or deeds that contradict or add to the Gospel.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

(Galatians 1:8 KJV)

Only God is to be worshipped. In the end times, Christians will judge angels.

“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 KJV)

And while it is an awesome experience to witness the power and protection of angels, we are not to put our reliance upon them but look to the One Who commands and is far superior to them, the Lord Jesus.

“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”

(Hebrews 1:4-8 KJV)

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