Entertaining angels

What comes to mind when you think of angels? Fat babies with wings?

Did you know that far from being babies or adults with wings as depicted in so many images – the only time angel wings are mentioned in the Bible is in Isaiah, where the angels have six wings each?! "Above [the Lord] were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying." (Isaiah 6:2)

Thanks to Oprah and the New Age movement, belief in angels has almost become a religion of its own. But what does the Bible actually say about angels?

  • They are spirits (Hebrews 1:14), yet they always appeared to humans as physical men/males (Gen. 19:1; Luke 24:4), even eating food.
  • They number in the hundreds of millions or perhaps more (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 5:11).
  • A third of them followed Satan when he rebelled against God, and are now evil. (Revelation 12:4)
  • Only three angel names are mentioned in the Bible - Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer (Luke 1:19; Jude 9; Isaiah 14:12).
  • There are various types and categories of angels mentioned, e.g., cherubim (Genesis 3:24; Ezekiel 10:1–20), seraphim (Isaiah 6:2, 6) and watchers (Daniel 4:17, KJV). They also appear to differ in rank and dignity, some being described as archangels, princes, or rulers (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1; Daniel 10:20–21, 12:1; Ephesians 6:12).
  • They are/were called holy and elect (Luke 9:26; 1 Timothy 5:21).
  • They are more powerful than mankind (2 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Peter 2:11).
  • They can appear among, and interact with, humans, even killing them on occasion (Genesis 16:9, 19:15; 1 Chronicles 21:15; Psalms 78:49; John 20:12). In Exodus 12:23 God's destroying angel killed all the firstborn in Egypt, and in 2 Kings 19:35, an angel sent by God killed 185,000 soldiers in one evening.
  • They can appear physically, and so real to humans that we do not recognize them as angels (Genesis 18:1–16; Hebrews 13:2).
  • They are not to be worshiped (Romans 1:25, NKJV; Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10).

Adapted from CMI

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