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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What Are Angels?

Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve Him. They are very powerful beings who function as God's messengers. Many times in the Bible they appeared to people and said, "I have come as a messenger from the Lord."

The New Testament tells us they are also ministering spirits sent to look after human beings who are the heirs of salvation (see Hebrews 1:14). Jesus seemed to indicate that little children have angels assigned to them, for He said their angels always behold the face of God (see Matthew 18:10). So the concept of guardian angels has its basis in the Bible.

In addition to the worker angels, there are archangels--angel princes such as Michael (see Jude 9). Scripture seems to indicate that he represented an entire nation (see Daniel 10:13).

Although we do not know for sure what angels look like, the Bible mentions some angelic features. The first chapter of Ezekiel tells of a vision in which the prophet saw a group of angels who were so holy that they appeared as flames of fire. These creatures seemed to be like men, yet they had four wings and multiple faces (see Ezekiel 1:5-6). They responded instantly to God's Spirit. The book of Isaiah mentions angels called "seraphim" who have six wings (see Isaiah 6:2,6). Another group of angels is called "cherubim." Seemingly, cherubim were present to cover the very holiness of God Himself, and on the lid of the ark of the covenant their wings formed the throne for the presence of the Lord (see Exodus 25:18-22).

Angels are magnificent creatures, not at all like the tiny, childlike cherubs that we see in some Renaissance art. Their power is so great that just one angel was able to destroy 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (see 2 Kings 19:35).

Their presence is so awesome that those who see them have been known to fall unconscious on the ground or to voluntarily prostrate themselves (see Daniel 10:9).

The first government was a theocracy, where God dealt directly with people. When God was in charge of things, no other government was necessary. He worked through the family, clan, or tribe. The father or patriarch acted as the agent of God for the rest of the family.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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