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10 things to know about angels

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10 things to know about angels
Posted on January 17, 2020  - By Dr. Scott Shiffer

While culture inside and outside the church is fascinated with spiritual beings, the Bible actually speaks very little about angels and demons. Some believe that the Bible does not reveal more about these creatures because people have a tendency to embrace idolatry. It is believed that if we knew more about these creatures, we might be more tempted to worship them in place of the Creator. It could also simply be that the Bible is more about pointing us to God through Christ than it is about explaining all the different facets of God’s creation.

Regardless of why there is not more information in the Bible about angels and demons, the Bible does tell us several things about these beings:

  1. Angels are spiritual beings capable of making moral judgments and they sometimes appear physically for humans to see.
  2. Angels have been called several names: Sons of God (Job 1:6), Holy Ones (Psalm 89:5), Spirits (Hebrews 1:4), Watchers (Daniel 4:13), and Powers (Ephesians 1:21).
  3. In addition to angels, we know of three other types of heavenly beings: Cherubim (Genesis 3:24), Seraphim (Isaiah 6:2-7), and Living Creatures (Ezekiel 1:5-14).
  4. We know there is a rank and order among angels. Michael is called the Archangel in Jude 9 and a Prince in Daniel 10:13. Only Michael and Gabriel are mentioned by name in the Bible. Angels do not marry (Matthew 22:30).
  5. Angels are created and cannot be worshipped because they are not God. They do not have deific qualities, such as knowing all things, or being in more than one place at a time.
  6. There are guardian angels (Psalm 91:11-12) but we do not know if we each have our own.
  7. Angels were present in the act of creation. Job 36:6-7 mentions that angels shouted for joy as God placed things on the earth during the creation event, so angels were likely created early on the first day.
  8. Angels remind us that the spiritual world is real (Acts 23:8), they glorify God (Psalm 103:20), and they wage war against demonic forces (Revelation 12:7-8).
  9. Angels perform a number of tasks. They provide revelation (Daniel 7:15-27), guide people (Matthew 1:20), provide them with protection (2 Kings 6:13-17), offer encouragement (Acts 5:19-20), provide for physical needs (Genesis 21:17-20), and act as helpers in answering prayer (Daniel 9:20-24). 
  10. Angels are curious. Angels desire to understand the dynamics of how salvation works for humans (Ephesians 3:9-10). They observe worship (1 Corinthians 11:1-10), and they observe Christian service (Matthew 16:27).

Angels certainly have an important role in God’s created order. We should not shy away from believing in them or from looking for their activity in the world around us, but we should also keep in mind that our main focus should be on the Lord and not on elevating His creatures.

Dr. Scott Shiffer

About Dr. Scott Shiffer

Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Faith and Culture Now, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations, including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for many years. Scott is married and has four children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges every day.



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