Angels: What are they?
Angels are everywhere in today's society. They are depicted frequently in television shows, movies and books. They are pinned to our lapels and hang from our rear-view mirrors. They are traditionally viewed as "guardians" that protect our homes and children. But what is myth and what is reality? Where do angels come from?
Angels: Servants of God
Angels are servants of God that help carry out His commands. Angels are real spiritual beings that are documented throughout the Bible. They are documented in both the Old and New Testaments. While God's angels carry out His commands, the Bible also tells us that there is a supreme, fallen angel who is against God (Matthew 25:41) and other angels that are evil and face God's punishment (Jude 1:6). Angels are also messengers of God. For example, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb, "the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified'" (Matthew 28:5). The physical descriptions of angels have also been documented in the Bible and history: "His appearance was like lightening, and his clothes were white as snow" (Matthew 28:3). "I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like Chrysolite, his face like lightening, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of multitude" (Daniel 10:5,6). The Bible also describes angels with wings that can fly. "Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two wings they covered their feet and with two they were flying" (Isaiah 6:2).
Angels: Do they really exist?
Actual accounts of angels have been witnessed and recorded by many people throughout the Bible. Beginning in Genesis 16:7, "The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert…and he said; 'Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?'" Again, in Genesis 22:11, an angel communicates with Abraham, "But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, Abraham! Abraham!" Angels continue to appear throughout the entire Bible, ending with the last book, Revelation. "Then the angel said to me, 'Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb!' and he added, 'These are the true words of God'" (Revelation19:9).
Angels: What are their Powers and Authority?
Angels communicate messages of God to His people. Angels also have powers to perform works for God that are beyond the ability of humans. "But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out" (Acts 5:19). "There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it" (Matthew 28:2). Angels have the power to minister to God's people. "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). As we can observe, the powers of angels are to minister and serve God. Angels, like people, are to worship God, not replace Him. "And they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory'" (Isaiah 6:3). In addition, God calls on the angels to worship His Son, Jesus. "…Let all God's angels worship Him" (Hebrews 1:6). The Bible tells us specifically to worship God and not angels. "At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!'" Revelation 19:10
Angels: A Blessing From God
Angels are depicted in many ways throughout popular culture. They are identified as chubby babies with little wings, beautiful women with feathered wings, and men of military strength with flowing robes of white. We have just seen that the reality of angels is grounded in the Bible. Although angels take on different visual representations, missions and powers, the one constant is that angels are a blessing from God that He uses to communicate, protect and minister to you with His power.