By Christopher Scott
I think people have more unbiblical beliefs about angels than any other biblical topic. In this article I hope to show how the Bible describes angels.
Created. The enemy of God, Satan, was once an angel of God. Ezekiel 28 describes Satan and his status in heaven before he fell from God’s grace. “You [Satan] were . . . created (Ezekiel 28:12, 13, 15). In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he further clarified that God “created everything in the heavenly realms” (Colossians 1:16). In other words, angels have not existed forever like God has.
Innumerable. The book of Hebrews describes heaven and how that there are “countless thousands of angels.” (Hebrews 12:22).
Immortal. When Jesus was talking about humans living forever in heaven he said, “And they [believers] will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels” (Luke 20:36).
Male without Halos, Harps, or Wings. The word “angel” appears about 350 times in the Bible. In those 350 occurrences angels usually appear to be male without wings, harps, or halos. The only exception are the cherubim and seraphim which both sometimes have wings. But as far as female “angels,” there is only one reference. “Then I looked up and saw two women flying toward us, gliding on the wind. They had wings like a stork, and they picked up the basket and flew into the sky” (Zechariah 5:9).
Extraordinary Powers. Angels have great wisdom. King David is called “as wise as an angel of God” (2 Samuel 14:20). A second example of angels’ extraordinary powers is their great strength. When two women went out to visit the tomb of Jesus three days after Jesus’s crucifixion an angel from heaven rolled aside the extremely heavy stone in front of Jesus’s tomb (Matthew 28:2). A third example is angels’ power to mediate God’s power over nations and events. In the book of Exodus God sent an angel ahead of Israel to drive out the people living in the land God had promised to Israel (Exodus 33:2-3).
Organized. An organizational hierarchy exists among angels. In Daniel 10:13 Michael is called “one of the archangels.” He’s also named in Jude 9, “Michael, one of the mightiest of angels.”
Not Worthy of Worship. The Bible makes it clear that we are not supposed to worship angels. Near the end of the book of Revelation the apostle John was given a vision by an angel and he fell down to worship the angel. But the angel responded, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God. . . Worship only God” (Revelation 19:10).
With this picture of angels in the Bible, I hope you have seen how they are described as well as how they are not. Next time you see artwork or something describing angels, ask yourself if that picture matches the biblical picture.
Christopher Scott is small groups pastor at Rocky Hill Community Church in Exeter. He may be reached by calling 559-730-1906.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.