What are angels according to the Bible?

Angels are created beings. They are an entirely separate type of creature from humans. People do not become angels after death, and angels do not become human. They are as different from us as we are from the animals. Angels are intelligent beings (Matthew 8:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Peter 1:12), they are emotional beings (Luke 2:13; James 2:19; Revelation 12:17), and each has an individual personality and will (Luke 8:28-31; 2 Timothy 2:26; Jude 6). Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14) and do not have physical bodies.

Both good and evil angels are created beings, and they do not have limitless knowledge (Matthew 24:36). They cannot be everywhere at once, and they are not as powerful as God. Satan (Lucifer) is still just an angel – he is nowhere near as powerful as God. However, angels are much more powerful than human beings and possess greater knowledge. Angels understand the Bible and the world, and they believe in the prophecies of God (James 2:19; Revelation 12:12). Even the fallen angels, who hate God, are not atheists; they know that God exists. Angels also understand humanity very well. They do not have to study the past, for they have experienced it. There are a limited number of angels, and they do not reproduce. The angels created at the beginning of time are still with God, and the demons that fell at the beginning are still fallen.

Because of their longevity, we can assume that they have much greater knowledge and understanding of God and humanity than we do. In the case of fallen angels, or demons, we have no hope of winning arguments with them unless we use the Scripture to combat their lies. By depending on flawed and limited human understanding, we will fail every time.

Angels, like all created beings, are subject to the will of God. The good angels are mobilized by God to come to the aid of believers (Hebrews 1:14). They do many other things as well, including praising and worshiping Him (Psalm 148:1-2; Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:8-13). The angels rejoice in God's works and they serve Him (Job 38:6-7; Psalm 103:20; Revelation 22:9). They stand before God in His presence (Job 1:6, 2:1). They proclaim God's judgments (Revelation 7:1, 8:2). They minister to humans and sometimes bring answers to prayers (Acts 12:5-10, 8:26, 10:3). They watch Christians' work and sufferings (1 Corinthians 4:9, 11:10; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12). They encourage (Acts 27:23-24), and they care for believers when they die (Luke 16:22).

Interestingly, the Bible never says that angels are created in God's image, as humans are (Genesis 1:26), though it appears that they can take on physical form (Genesis 6:4, 19:1). The most important things we can learn from the holy angels is their submission to God (1 Corinthians 11:10) and their right view of Him (Isaiah 6:3).

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