What are Angels?


Our world has many ideas and opinions about angels. According to CBS News in 2011, 8 in 10 American adults believe in angels, including non-religious people. According to ABC News in 2008, more than half of adults believe in some sort of guardian angel. Typically angels are described as the little cartoon depictions with wings and harps, and are believed to give some kind of divine message or protection to people on earth. Just like anything else, we should filter our understanding of angels through the Word of God to seek His truth on the matter.


Based on the Word of God we know that angels are created beings (Psalm 148:2-5) and are sent by God as messengers. We see many occasions in which God sent angels to earth to deliver messages to people or perform a specific task, such as when Gabriel came to Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38), and also when angels came to deal with the corruption of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19). The general purpose is always to declare and promote God’s will. Angels also interact with both man and beast, as we see in the case of Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22.


Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. Psalms 148:2-5 ESV
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 ESV
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. Luke 22:43 ESV
Then the Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 1 Chronicles 21:27 ESV

Angels are supernatural creations that dwell in the spiritual realms, praising and serving Jesus, whom they were created for and by. Because they dwell among the spiritual realms they are typically unseen by humans, but when they do show themselves by God's divine instruction their identity is often hidden from our understanding at the time so that we do not know when we "are entertaining angels." They obey the Lord and do the work He calls of them, and live to serve and worship God.


Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2 ESV
Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, Revelation 7:2 ESV
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." Hebrews 1:6 ESV
I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Exodus 33:2 ESV

Scripture explains how God used Jesus in the creation process, and Colossians 1 explains that all things were created by, through, and for Jesus, on earth and in heaven, which would include the angels. By nature angels are typically holy, but there are also “fallen” angels such as Lucifer. In scripture we see some named angels, Michael and Gabriel, and we see other potential angels such as various heavenly creatures, cherubim, and nephilim, as well as a special kind of angel, the Angel of the Lord. Angels, unlike God, are not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient. They only possess the abilities that God permits, and different types of angels seem to have different functions and purposes.


He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:13-20 ESV


But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." Genesis 22:11 ESV
The cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings. Ezekiel 10:8 ESV
And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— Jude 1:6 ESV

Angels are supernatural, heavenly, created beings that were created by and for Christ before the creation of mankind, do not marry, and have greater power than humans, as we see throughout scripture. We also know that one day Christians will participate with Christ in the judgement of the angels on the Day of the Lord. We don't know what the means or looks like, but by this we can perceive that angels are held accountable to God as well as mankind as fellow creations of our Creator.


Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Revelation 8:2 ESV
For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. Mark 12:25 ESV
whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 2 Peter 2:11 ESV
Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 1 Kings 22:21 ESV

There is much to behold about angels throughout scripture, such as the different types and functions of angels, the specifically named angels, and even the Angel of the Lord. Knowing the basics is vital before diving into deeper knowledge about angels in order to grasp a better understanding of what God has revealed to us about these fellow creations.



Sources:

What does the Bible say about angels? | GotQuestions.org

Who is the angel of the Lord? | GotQuestions.org

What Does the Bible Say About Angels? Understanding Heaven’s Mighty Warriors – David Jeremiah Blog

The 8 Kinds of Angels and Demons in the Bible (Warning: This Gets Weird) (overviewbible.com)

Who Is the Angel of the Lord? | OverviewBible

KJV Search Results for "and the angel" (blueletterbible.org)

KJV Search Results for "of God" (blueletterbible.org)

What does theophany mean? What is a Christophany? (compellingtruth.org)

What is a theophany? What is a Christophany? | GotQuestions.org

Poll: Nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe in angels - CBS News

Most Americans Believe in Guardian Angels - ABC News (go.com)

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