Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Angels Are...And Are Not

There isn’t anyone among us who hasn’t enjoyed a Christmas movie wherein an angel earns his or her wings. We love to hear the bell jingle because at that moment we know that heaven’s angel population has increased by one.


As much as those movies endear themselves to us, the fact is, the angel population neither increases nor decreases over time. But it does make those of us interested in angels sit up and take notice—and want to learn more about these heavenly creatures.

What are they?

Who are they?

Why are they?

Angels are spirits created by God (Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:14).

They are the invisible created things that have a hierarchy. These invisible created things are spirits meant to serve those who are to inherit salvation—fallen man who now freely chooses Christ. This establishes our relationship with angels in that they are to help us in ways that we may not fully know or understand; however, we shouldn’t be trying to discover how to boss them around or manipulate them! They are meant to help us usher our souls into an eternity with God.

As the lowest of the three groups of celestial beings, angels have taken on the appearance of human males to act as an interface between God and man but are never to be worshipped (Romans 1:24-25). In Genesis 32, Jacob clearly sees angels and recognizes them as such. On the other hand, in Tobit, Archangel Raphael was sent as a healer and was not recognized. It may be for this reason that Scripture reminds us in Hebrews 13:2 to always be kind and charitable to strangers for we never know when we will be entertaining angels.

Angels do not reproduce and are countless in number (Hebrews 12:22). Angels have what many feel is a confusing relationship to man in that man is made a bit lower than angels and yet man will attain a higher status than angels at the fullness of God’s kingdom (Luke 20:26).

Psalm 91:11 is where we find that God “commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.” Yet this should not translate into assuming we have a “get out of jail free card” wherein we foolishly live our lives on the edge; rather it is to remind us of the great call we have upon our lives as sons and daughters of the King. Isaiah 26:3 indicates that God’s angels are needed as much for the spiritual warfare that is taking place around us as they are needed in our earthly circumstances.

Angels, those Chariots of God (Psalm 68:17), will be part of the end-times. Their countless number will be made known (Revelation 5:11) and their joyful praises of God will gladden our hearts; our suffering will make sense as Jesus will reveal himself with his mighty angels and administer just judgment on behalf of the heavenly Father. What is invisible will be made visible and there will undoubtedly be a collective “Aha!” moment for us all!

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