Movies and television shows portray angels in a variety of ways. People around the world have varied beliefs about angels, demons and spirit-beings. How do we know what is true? Let’s look to the Bible, God’s Holy Word.
Angels are spirit beings created by God, and they worship Him. They are described by many names in the Bible: seraphim, cherubim, angels, spirits, hosts, host of heaven, heavenly beings, archangels, stars and morning stars. Some angels are even named, Michael and Gabriel being two.
You alone are Yahweh. You created the heavens, the highest heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and the heavenly host worships You. (Nehemiah 9:6)
For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
Angels are God’s servants. They do whatever God asks them to do. Sometimes they deliver messages for God (through dreams and in other supernatural ways). In the Bible, when they deliver a message the person clearly understands the message that God sends to them. Angels also serve God by ministering to God’s people in unseen ways.
Praise the LORD, all His angels of great strength, who do His word, obedient to His command. Praise the LORD, all His armies, His servants who do His will. (Psalm 103:20-21)
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20)
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
There are too many angels to count. We do not know exactly how many angels there are, but there are a lot. The Bible uses really big numbers to describe how many angels there are.
…to myriads of angels in festive gathering… (Hebrews 12:22)
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands. (Revelation 5:11)
Angels are similar but very different than mankind. They are highly intelligent beings and very powerful, able to fulfill the mighty tasks that the Lord asks them to do (see Revelation for many examples). They are invisible, yet they can only be at one place at one time. They do not marry or reproduce (see Matthew 22:23-33). Angels do not die physically. Speaking of mankind, the Bible says:
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5, ESV)
Lucifer was the Anointed Cherub. The name Lucifer literally means “bright morning star” and is translated as such in some versions of the Bible. He was the anointed angel, blameless in all of his ways until wickedness was found in him. In future posts, we will discuss other names that the Bible uses to describe this once-honored spirit being.
Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground. (Isaiah 14:12)
You were an anointed guardian cherub, for I had appointed you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones. From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways until wickedness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:14-15)
The angels watched creation. In the book of Job, we are witnesses of a conversation between the Lord and Job. Job had experienced much tragedy in his life and he considered it to be unfair. God reminded Job that He (the Lord) was the architect of creation, and that He was sovereignly in charge. Listen to God’s answer to Job, and notice that the “morning stars” and “sons of God” (both references to angels in this context) are witnesses to the creation of the world:
Where were you when I established the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
Points of application:
- Base your understanding of angels on the Bible — not on movies, television or world religions, nor on any person’s beliefs or experience.
- Do not worship angels. Worship God.
- Like the angels, we are to serve the Lord and worship Him.
For Further Reading: