The Truth about Angels
By Hannah Goodwyn
With Hollywood’s take on angelic hosts in Legion, it’s no wonder non-churchgoers and even some believers don’t know the biblical truth about angels. In the new film, Archangel Michael rebels against God and his messenger, Gabriel, in order to protect what’s left of humanity, which includes a pregnant waitress who is carrying the “messiah.”
Other films, such as Michael and It’s a Wonderful Life, aren’t helping in our society’s perception of heavenly hosts either. The John Travolta and James Stewart classics depict angels as immoral beings and transformed humans. These movies couldn’t have gone over the deep end more.
What the Bible Says about Angels
According to Hebrews 1:14, God created angels to help believers. They have a will and are intelligent spiritual beings, but they are not esteemed on the same level as the Trinity – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says there are basically two categories of angels – fallen and unfallen. When Satan rebelled against God, he and his company fell from heaven. In I Corinthians 6:3, it states that some of these fallen angels are bound in chains, awaiting their judgment. The others serve Satan (Revelation 20:9-10). Unfallen (loyal) angels are those who remain holy and devoted to serving the Lord.
Unfallen angels honor God.
The Bible highlights Michael and Gabriel signifying their importance among God’s angelic hosts. Michael, whose name means “who is like unto God?”, is described as an archangel, “one of the chief princes” (Daniel 10:13), which may indicate that he is the chief of the Lord’s angels. Gabriel (“hero of God”) is mentioned in the Bible as a messenger of God. He is the angel that appears to Mary and tells her of the coming Messiah (Luke 1:26-28). Gabriel also delivers God’s messages to Daniel and Zacharias. These two pillars in the angelic company would not rebel against God’s commands, despite what the character of Michael does in Legion. They are not rogue spiritual beings who use their will to counter God’s wishes. Although they are not all-knowing as God himself is, they do see His goodness and have seen His faithfulness throughout the ages.
Humans do not become angels when they die.
When we die, we will not become angels. Our eternity will not be filled with endless days of sitting on a puffy cloud with our white wings flapping behind us. This idea of our eternal future is unbiblical. There is no mention in the Bible of anyone being transformed into an angelic form. As humans, we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Angels are simply God’s angelic servants; we are His beloved.
But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. (John 1 : 12-13, NLT)
Angels – unfallen and fallen – interact with us.
The Bible clearly states that God has used and continues to use His angels in many ways. They worship and serve the Lord (Hebrews 1:6; Psalm 103:20). They help in winning souls to Christ (Acts 10), and are agents of God’s judgment (Revelation 8).
Unfortunately, fallen angels also affect our lives, just as they did during Daniel’s time. In chapter ten, the Bible describes the war between the archangel Michael and the demonic “Prince of Persia” (Daniel 10). These fallen angels (demons) seek to do their chief’s bidding: to steal and kill, and destroy. (John 10:10a, NLT).The important fact to remember is that these fallen angels – like Satan – are defeated. God is in control of our eternal fate, and no angel or power can alter that truth.
Angels aren’t feeble creatures who strum harps all day.
Contrary to their portrayal in Renaissance art, angels are not timid, baby-like creatures with white feathery wings. The Bible describes them as magnificent beings. When angels visited humans, they were afraid. Their sheer grandeur and power must be overwhelming. II Kings 19:35 recounts the time when a single angel destroyed an army of Assyrian soldiers, 185,000 men strong, in one night. Ezekiel 1 reports a vision the prophet had of a group of angels that appeared as fire. They looked like men, but had four wings and multiple faces (Ezekiel 1:5-6). Isaiah talks about a group of holy angels called seraphim, who have six wings, in its sixth chapter. Cherubim are believed to be the angels who defend God’s holiness, which is depicted on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:20).
As you continue to study what the Bible says about these angelic creatures, be careful that your focus does not sway from the Father. Many New Age and established religions place too much significance on their mythical idea of angels. It is important to know their role in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth, but remember they are created beings. We worship Our Father in Heaven, not His messengers.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and info, visit Hannah's bio page.
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