Angels have become very popular in modern culture. Some have even promoted the idea that Christians have some kind of authority over angels. Is this true?
The Bible does not mention any occasion of a person commanding an angel to act. In fact, when Jesus became human, we are told He made Himself "lower than the angels" (Psalm 8:4-5; Hebrews 2:7-9). Angels are actually more powerful than humans.
Angels follow the commands of God. They serve as His messengers and servants to do His will. Hebrews 1:14 shares, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?" Angels ministered to Jesus in the wilderness (Mark 1:13) and often helped God's people in the Bible.
Speaking of children, Jesus taught, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10). It appears angels specifically watch over children, serving under the authority of God, not humans.
On the negative side, angels can also carry out God's judgments. For example, Revelation 15:6 shares that seven angels carried the seven plagues God will send on the earth during the future tribulation. Angels also carried out God's judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19.
Some wonder why, then, does the apostle Paul state in 1 Corinthian 6:2-3 that believers will "judge angels"? What does this mean? This is typically understood to mean that as people created in God's image, believers will one day have the authority to likewise govern angels in heaven (2 Timothy 2:12). In addition, it is possible Paul means believers will stand in judgment against fallen angels, or demons, at the final judgment (Revelation 20:4). Both may be true, indicating that the role of angels as superior to humans in this life will be different for God's people in eternity.
However, this future scenario does not give Christians the ability to give angels commands in this life. When angels visited people in the Bible, the response was generally one of fear and respect. Angels represent God and serve His will. Believers are not to command angels to serve their needs, but rather serve alongside God's holy angels to worship God and carry out His will in this world.
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