Angels are a fascinating topic of discussion in the Christian faith. They are spiritual beings created by God to serve as His messengers and to do His will. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous accounts of angelic appearances and interactions with humans. In this blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about angels and their role in the Christian faith.
First, we will explore the definition, origin, and nature of angels. The Bible describes angels as powerful beings who carry out God’s will and provide protection and guidance to humans. There are different orders or ranks of angels, each with its own level of authority and responsibility. The Bible also describes angels as having supernatural powers and the ability to take on any form that God chooses to send them in.
Second, we will delve into the role of angels in the Bible. Angels serve as messengers of God, protectors, and guardians of humans, warriors in spiritual battles, worshippers of God, and witnesses to human events. In end times prophecy, angels are also present and have a role to play in the pouring out of God’s wrath. By exploring the role of angels in the Bible, we can gain a deeper understanding of their importance and how they interact with humans.
Lastly, we will address common misconceptions about angels. While angels are a fascinating topic of discussion, there are also many misconceptions about them. Some people believe that angels should be worshipped or prayed to or that they are the spirits of deceased loved ones who have been reincarnated. However, these beliefs are not supported by the Bible. By addressing common misconceptions about angels, we can approach them with reverence and respect and better understand their role in the Christian faith.
Definition of Angels
Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve as His messengers and do His will. The word “angel” comes from the Greek word “angelos,” which means messenger. In the Bible, angels are often depicted as powerful beings who carry out God’s will and provide protection and guidance to humans.
The Origin and Nature of Angels
The Creation of Angels
The Bible does not provide a clear account of the creation of angels. However, it is believed that angels were created before the earth was formed. In the book of Job, God speaks to Job about the creation of the earth and mentions the angels:
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?…When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7, NKJV)
The “sons of God” mentioned in this passage are believed to be angels.
The Nature of Angels
The Bible describes a hierarchy among the angels. There are different orders or ranks of angels, each with its own level of authority and responsibility. The Bible mentions several different orders of angels, including:
- Seraphim: These are the highest-ranking angels who are closest to God. They are described in Isaiah 6:2-3 as having six wings and calling out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
- Cherubim: These angels are often depicted as having multiple wings and guarding the throne of God. In Genesis 3:24, cherubim are placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to prevent Adam and Eve from re-entering.
- Archangels: These angels are high-ranking messengers of God. The Bible mentions two archangels by name: Michael and Gabriel. Michael is described as the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:21), and Gabriel is known for his appearances to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16) and the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38).
- Angels: These are the most common type of angels mentioned in the Bible. They are messengers of God who carry out His will and provide protection and guidance to humans.
Angels are often described as having supernatural powers. In the Bible, angels are said to have the power to:
- Move quickly: In Daniel 9:21, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel “being caused to fly swiftly.”
- Perform miracles: In Acts 12:7-10, an angel frees Peter from prison by causing his chains to fall off and leading him out of the prison.
- Fight spiritual battles: In Revelation 12:7-9, Michael and his angels fight against Satan and his followers in a spiritual battle.
Angels are often depicted as having a human-like appearance, with wings and a halo. However, the Bible does not give a clear description of what angels look like. In some instances, they are described as having a human appearance (Genesis 18:1-3), while in others, they are described as having a more supernatural appearance (Ezekiel 1:4-28). It is believed that angels can take on any form that God chooses to send them in.
The Role of Angels in the Bible
Angels as Messengers of God
One of the primary roles of angels in the Bible is to serve as messengers of God. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous accounts of angels appearing to humans to deliver messages from God. For example, in Luke 1:26-38, the angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary to announce that she will give birth to Jesus. In Matthew 28:5-7, an angel appears to the women at Jesus’ tomb to tell them that He has risen from the dead.
Angels as Protectors and Guardians
Angels are also known for their role as protectors and guardians of humans. In Psalm 91:11-12, it says:
“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that God sends angels to protect and guard His people from harm.
Angels as Warriors in Spiritual Battles
In addition to their role as messengers and protectors, angels are also known for their role as warriors in spiritual battles. In the book of Revelation, there is a description of a spiritual battle between the angels of God and the forces of evil. In Revelation 12:7-9, it says:
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.” (NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angels of God are powerful warriors who fight against evil.
Angels as Worshippers of God
Angels are also known for their role as worshippers of God. In Revelation 4:8-11, there is a description of the worship of God in heaven, and it includes the angels:
“The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’ Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.'” (NKJV)
Angels as Witnesses to Human Events
Angels are also present as witnesses to human events. In the book of Genesis, angels are present to witness the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:
“And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.” (Genesis 19:1, NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angels are present to witness the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Angels in End Times Prophecy
Angels are also present in end times prophecy. In the book of Revelation, there are numerous references to angels, including the seven angels who pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath:
“And I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.'” (Revelation 16:1, NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angels have a role to play in the end times and the pouring out of God’s wrath.
Interaction Between Angels and Humans
Biblical Accounts of Angelic Appearances
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous accounts of angelic appearances to humans. In some instances, the angels are visible to everyone, while in other instances, they are only visible to certain individuals. For example, in the book of Acts, an angel appears to Peter while he is in prison, and the angel is visible to Peter but not to the guards:
“Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, ‘Arise quickly!’ And his chains fell off his hands.” (Acts 12:7, NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angel is only visible to Peter.
Angels as Guides and Helpers to Humans
In addition to delivering messages and providing protection, angels are also known for their role as guides and helpers to humans. In the book of Exodus, an angel guides the Israelites through the wilderness:
“And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.” (Exodus 14:19, NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angel is guiding the Israelites through the wilderness.
Angels as Instruments of Judgment
Angels are also known for their role as instruments of judgment. In the book of Revelation, there are numerous instances of angels carrying out God’s judgment on the earth. For example, in Revelation 8:7-12, an angel blows a trumpet, and hail and fire come down from heaven:
“The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” (Revelation 8:7, NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angel is carrying out God’s judgment on the earth.
Angels and Free Will
One of the interesting aspects of the interaction between angels and humans is the issue of free will. While angels are created beings who serve God and do His will, humans have free will and are able to make their own choices. In the book of Genesis, an angel warns Cain about the consequences of his actions, but Cain ultimately chooses to ignore the warning and kills his brother:
“So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.’ Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” (Genesis 4:6-8, NKJV)
In this passage, it is clear that the angel warned Cain about the consequences of his actions, but ultimately, Cain chose to ignore the warning and commit murder.
Common Misconceptions About Angels
While angels are a fascinating topic of discussion, there are also many misconceptions about them. Here are a few common misconceptions:
Angels as Cute Cherubs or Winged Humans
One common misconception about angels is that they are cute cherubs or winged humans. However, as we have seen, the Bible does not give a clear description of what angels look like. While some artistic depictions of angels may be accurate, others are not.
Angels as Intermediaries Between Humans and God
Another common misconception is that angels are intermediaries between humans and God. While angels do deliver messages from God and provide protection and guidance to humans, they are not a substitute for a personal relationship with God.
Angels as Objects of Worship
Some people believe that angels should be worshipped or prayed to. However, the Bible is clear that only God should be worshipped. In Revelation 22:8-9, an angel rebukes John for attempting to worship him:
“Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.'” (Revelation 22:8-9, NKJV)
Angels as Reincarnated Humans
Some people believe that angels are the spirits of deceased loved ones who have been reincarnated. However, this belief is not supported by the Bible. The Bible is clear that angels are created beings who serve God and carry out His will.
In conclusion, the Bible has much to say about angels and their role in the Christian faith. From their role as messengers and protectors to their position as powerful warriors in spiritual battles, angels play a crucial role in carrying out God’s will and guiding His people. While there are many misconceptions about angels, it is important to approach them with reverence and respect and to understand their true nature and purpose.
As Christians, we can take comfort in the knowledge that God sends His angels to protect and guide us and to carry out His will on earth. By incorporating prayer and seeking guidance from God, we can deepen our relationship with Him and feel the comfort and guidance of His angels.
Finally, let us remember that while angels are powerful and awe-inspiring beings, they are ultimately servants of God. As we navigate our way through life, let us seek God’s guidance and protection, knowing that He sends His angels to protect and guide us along the way.