How the Bible Describes Angels: Heavenly Beings

Angels look nothing like fairy tales and paintings describe them. Jack Wellman notes, “Nowhere in the Bible are angels described like the pictures, paintings, or figurines of little baby cherub angels with wings that we so often see. Michael and Gabriel are archangels and they are anything but little and cute.”

How the Bible describes angels is very different from how the world describes them. The Bible shows us the true nature of angels and why God created them. Their work was never to give in to our demands but to follow the instructions of their Creator, who is God. 

Angels are spirits

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Hebrews 1:14

Angels don’t have a physical form, they are spirits sent by God to serve His children. God assigns angels to those who inherit salvation and these are the believers of Jesus Christ. The Bible also describes angels as flames of fire. 

“He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”

Hebrews 1:7

Amazing Angels’ Appearance

The Bible describes angels in a way that reflects their spectacular nature. They have supernatural features that are unusual. Daniel encountered angels that didn’t look quite like men. God created living beings according to their kind and angels are no exception. 

I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

Daniel 10:5-6

Angels dwell in heaven

Angels are counted as among the heavenly host. They are with God in heaven. When they have assignments on earth, they complete them and wait for further instructions from God.

Who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.

1 Peter 3:22
Above the clouds - How the Bible Describes Angels

Angels have hierarchies

God sent an angel to give Daniel an answer. However, he was detained by a demonic entity and Michael who is described as the chief of princes came to his rescue. This shows that angels have hierarchies, they are not all on the same level. 

Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Daniel 10:13

Angels are powerful

God created angels with mighty power. Throughout the Bible, they killed entire armies who threatened the peace of the Israelites.

This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

2 Thessalonians 1:7

Angels take on the form of men

Angels sometimes come looking like men. In fact, we’re told to watch how we treat strangers. One of them might just be an angel. 

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2

When Daniel was still praying and confessing the sins of the Israelites while in captivity, the angel Gabriel appeared to him as a man. 

While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.

Daniel 9:21

Angels are usually unseen

Although some people see angels when they appear to them, most people sense their presence. Most of the time people don’t see angels unless God opens their spiritual eyes. 

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

2 Kings 6:17

Angels deliver God’s messages to mankind

God delivers His messages through angels. We see a lot of angelic encounters in the Bible where the angels passed on God’s message to His people. One good example is the angel Gabriel who God sent to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus. 

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Luke 1:30-31

Angels execute God’s judgment

When people sinned and fell under God’s judgment, He sent His angels to pronounce and execute His judgment. 

And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king.

2 Chronicles 32:21

Angels act in obedience to God’s commands

God sends His angels with instructions on what He wants them to do on the earth. They are His messengers who come to earth to deliver His messages. When you speak God’s word into a situation in your life, angels come to establish God’s will on earth. 

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.

Psalm 103:20

To live victorious Christian lives, we need God’s help and direction. He sends His angels to watch over us and ensure that we remain on the right path at all times. They keep us away from danger even when we don’t see it coming. God has given us the best help we could ever have.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:11-12

Angels in the Bible

God loves us and wants to protect us always. That is why He sends His angels to minister to us every day. We are not to worship angels but God who is our Father. According to an article on the Billy Graham blog, angels have one purpose, and that is to serve God’s servants. You may not see angels, but they watch over you daily. 

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