Angels are spirit beings created by God and they reveal God’s glory and protection for and presence with the believers. Most books of the Bible refer to angels and portray them as ministering sprits in the presence of God, and as God’s mighty army. There is no systematic teaching in any of its books about the creation, nature, form, qualities, age, and ministry etc of the angels; but right from the book of Genesis we see the writers take for granted the belief in angels. Genesis states Cherubs were appointed to guard the garden lest anybody eat the fruit of the tree of life after sin. This work tries to discuss the biblical teachings about angels and their ministry especially in relation with the children of God.
Angels are asexual spirit beings created by God
Angels are created as immortal and mighty spirit beings that are known as God’s army, and they are innumerable – myriads of angels (Heb. 12:22; Ps. 68:17; Dan. 7:10; Rev. 5:11).They are created on God’s command and for God’s glory; and they praise God – Ps. 148:2-5; Neh. 9:6. Colossians 1:16 says all visible and invisible were created by God. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:3 tells God created them. The reference in Job 38:6 says the angels rejoiced and celebrated at the creation of the earth. So, we may conclude that they were created before the creation of the earth. From the references in Ezekiel 28; Psalm 8:4; Hebrews 1:4; and Daniel 10 we may believe that they are creatures who are superior to mortal humans. A statement of Jesus regarding resurrection says: they will be like angels who does not marry or reproduce (Matt.22:30). So, there are no little angels, neither are they the spirits of dead humans.
Angels are powerful and uncountable. John in his Revelation (chapter five) speaks about the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures …and the number of them was myriads of myriads. Apostle Peter who had personal experience with angels refers to them as mighty and powerful angels (2 Peter 2:11). Daniel and John were like dead people when they had the vision of angels. Overnight an angel has killed 185,000 people as marked in 2 Kings 19:35 cf. Is 37:36. In the book of Revelation we see might angels who brings God’s fearful judgments upon the earth.
Different Kinds of Angels
Cherubim – Genesis 3:24 names the angels guarding the way to the tree of life as Cherubs. On the Arc of the Covenant a two-winged cherubim stands on either side of the mercy seat. Yahweh is depicted as the almighty God who is enthroned among the cherubim- Isa 37:16, Ps.18:10; Ezekiel ch.10. Ezekiel 1:4,5 terms them as creatures, looking at their unusual abilities and appearance – Revelations 4:6-8.
Seraphim – Seraphim is the term used by Isaiah for the angels who are in the presence of God and unceasingly worshipping God (Isa 6:2 ff).
Names of angels – In the Bible, only two angels’ are mentioned by names – Michael and Gabriel. Of this Michael is portrayed as the Archangel (Jude 9, Daniel 10:13; Revelations 12:7). Gabriel is depicted as another chief angel. He is the one who brings messages to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary.
Angels and their Ministry to the believers
Angels are messengers
Angels are the ones who bring evangelion or messages. The Hebrew root word for angel is malak – means messenger. So, they are primarily carriers of messages from God. Even though they are spirit beings, when they bring messages to the believers or appear to help them they appear in human form. We see many instances in the Bible. Abraham, Hagar, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Manoah, Daniel, Zechariah, Mary etc. were brought messages by angels. The prophets were sent messages by angels – Daniel, Ezekiel, John. Revelations 1:1 says God sent his angel and revealed it to John. Revelations 22:8, 9 tells they are only fellow servants and they do not deserve worship.
Angels Declare the Presence of God
In Genesis 16:13 Hagar calls the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”. When God appeared to Abraham in the garden of Mamre, it was as angels, and with angels he appeared (Genesis 18). When the people of Israel was crossing the red sea the angel who was going in front of them turned back and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud too, turned and went behind them (Ex.14:19). Here the angel is associated with God’s presence. In Exodus 23 it says God’s name is in the angel. “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him (NASB). The same is assured when God says to Moses My presence shall go with you (Exodus 33:40). By Jericho Joshua sees the captain of the host of the Lord. “And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so (Joshua 5:13-15). In all their afflictions He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old, (Isa. 63:9).
The Bible teaches about angels who will guard the believers in all their ways. Psalm 91:11 says For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 34:7- The angel of the Lord will encamp around His beloved and protect them; cf. 35:5. Elisha says to Gehazi, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16, 17).
The Hebrew boys had an angel walking with them in the furnace (Daniel 3). In Matthew 18:10, Jesus warns anyone who causes stumbling to the children, for their angels are always before the face of God; and Luke 15:10 says the angels in heaven rejoice over a repenting sinner. It is the guardian angel who released Peter out of the prison.
Several people testify of miraculous angelic protections and deliverances they have enjoyed in crises situations and dangers. The appearance and disappearance after help are said to be unexplainable. Personally I too had such a miraculous escape from a road accident one night in 1994, in Bangalore. Throughout history such testimonies were heard. Many of such are uploaded in the internet. Angels are given charge over us.
Angels in the Coming the Lord Jesus Christ
It is the angels who bring the message of the end times to the prophets.
Daniel 10:14 -Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” cf 8:19.
Revelation 1:1, 2 -The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel . cf. 22:8,9.
Angels have significant roles in the second coming of our lord Jesus Christ and the judgments following. For the Lord Himself will descent from heaven with a shout , with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God…(1 Thes. 4:16). In the parable of the sower Jesus says: the seed is the word of God and the harvesters are the angels (Mtt. 13:39). And He will send forth his angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds… (Mtt.24:31). In the book of Revelation we see the angels worshipping, and from chapters 6-11- six to eleven angels who makes announcements and the seven angels who sounds the seven trumpets. In the 12th chapter Michael and his angels fights with the Devil and his angels. Chapters 13-20 we see mighty angels who executes the judgments of great destruction upon the earth, until the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the New heaven and the new earth angels are no more agents bringing destruction, but agent of good news. And, the Son of Man comes in his glory with all His angels (Matt. 25:31). All these verses declare the role of the angels in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, the guardian angels protect, and deliver God’s children; their army fights for God’s people against all principalities and powers; and the angel of God’s presence leads, counsels, and bring messages from God. Even though mortal men are created we will judge them (1 Cor. 6:3). We are sons and daughters and the spirit of God dwells in us, but angels are only ministering sprits Worship, therefore, is not due to the angels, since they are our fellow servants -Rev. 22:8, 9. We are the Bride of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.