We are continuing with the series on angels and will jump right in, but if you are just joining us you may want to check out the quiz in post one.
Do children (or other human beings for that matter) become angels when they die? No. Angels are created beings, in contrast to God the Creator. Humans and angels are distinct and separate creatures. Some verses to consider are: Psalm 148:2-5; John 1:1-3; and Colossians 1:16. Angels are a higher order of creature than humanity, as Hebrews 2:9 states that when Jesus became human he was made “a little lower than the angels.”
As created beings, angels should not be worshiped or prayed to. Prayer and worship should be directed to God alone. In Revelation 19:10 and 22:8-9, when the apostle John fell down and worshiped an angel, he was promptly rebuked by the angel and commanded to worship God. Neither should we pray to angels. Angels can not mediate for us. Remember that Jesus is our only mediator (I Timothy 2:5).
Do angels always appear with wings? They do sometimes (Isaiah 6:2; Daniel 9:21; Revelation 14:6). However, Hebrews 13:2 encourages us to be hospitable to strangers because people have entertained angels without knowing it. Clearly angels do not always appear with wings, because then it would be hard not to realize you were entertaining an angel!
Do typical biblical angels look like this?
Sweet. Feminine. Frilly.
No! Angels are generally portrayed in a masculine way in the Bible. Two angels that are named are both male: Michael (Jude 1:9) and Gabriel (Luke 1:26). Considering Matthew 22:30, it might be better to think of angels as neither male or female, but simply as angels. They are unique created beings, and the verse in Matthew implies that gender may not have the same meaning for them as for human beings. On another note, angels have several purposes in the Bible, and one is the military of God. Angels are often described as agents of judgment, wrath, or defense (II Kings 6:17 and 19:35; Psalms 78:49; Revelation 7:1; Matthew 13:41-42). Again, this does not match with a frilly, sweet portrayal of angels. Perhaps this would be a more accurate biblical angel:
On this topic, what do angels do exactly? Besides serving as God’s military, they are also God’s messengers. Indeed, the word angel comes from the Greek word angelos and a Hebrew word malakh both of which mean messenger. Angels served as messengers in the events surrounding Christ’s birth as they appeared to Zechariah, Mary, the shepherds, and Joseph.
Angels are also ministers or servants of God that can assist and care for people in need. Hebrews 1:14 is often considered the primary “job description” of angels: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” As mentioned in the previous post, angels can protect us. And bring practical assistance as with Elijah (I kings 19:1-8), Christ (Matthew 4:1-11), and Peter (Acts 12:1-11).
Whatever else angels do, they spend a lot of time praising God (Revelation 5:11-12). This should serve as an example for us to never cease praising and worshiping God!
To get pre-occupied with angels is to miss the point. Although a proper understanding of angels is important, they should not distract us from Jesus Christ. They are servants, but He is God.
I’ll have one more post to wrap this up…Thanks for following along. (Last post is here.)