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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, March 07 2024

Three surprising facts about angels

Angels were created by God to serve mankind, and they often act as messengers between God and man. Some of the angels are described as cherubs, and others are called seraphim. The Bible tells us why they exist, what they do, and it also tells us about the fate of some of them.

by Darris McNeely

The first fact about angels is that they are ministering spirits to humanity. Hebrews 1:14 tells us: “... Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” One of the ways angels do this is that they serve humanity as intermediaries. Genesis 28 describes Jacob’s dream where he saw the angels of God ascending and descending on a ladder reaching to heaven, acting as intermediaries between the throne of God and the Divine realm and human beings.

There is a popular belief that each of us has a guardian angel assigned specifically to us. This idea probably grew from a misunderstanding of the events described in Acts 12. When Apostle Peter is let out of prison by an angel, he hurries to where the disciples are praying together and knocks on the door. Rhoda, a servant girl, answers and when she sees Peter she can’t believe it is him, as he is supposed to be in prison. In her confusion she shuts the door and runs back to tell the disciples. The disciples don’t believe Peter is there in the flesh and declare that it must be his angel.

And so from that one passage the idea has developed we all have a guardian angel. We do have angels watching over us, but the idea we have an angel specifically assigned to us is not provable from Scripture.

The second fact about angels that is not generally acknowledged is that evil originated in the angelic realm. Ezekiel 28 talks about a being called the king of Tyre who is really a powerful angel, a covering cherub named Lucifer, who rebelled against God and also influenced a third of the angels to follow him in his evil designs. These angels became known as demons. A parallel account of this rebellion is found in Isaiah 14. (For more information on this subject see our free brochure, Is There Really A Devil?)

The third surprising fact about angels is that Scripture shows us these rebellious angels have a great desire to be worshipped, but human beings are clearly instructed not to worship angels, but to worship God.

Revelation 22:8 describes John’s reaction when God used an angel to reveal the prophecies found in the book of Revelation to him. “I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.” When John does this the angel quickly exhorts him, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God (verse 9).”

Angels are not to be worshipped, but they are a part of God’s purpose and plan. Man was created at a lower level than the angels, as physical beings, but man is going to judge the angels (I Corinthians 6:3). We are the ones who are to inherit salvation. That is the awesome purpose for which God has created mankind and He created the complimentary angelic realm to help or minister to us in achieving that purpose.

So, angels are ministering servants sent to the human realm. Evil originated in the angelic realm. And we are not to worship angels. It is important to understand this as we look at the work God is doing with us in bringing many sons to the glory of inheriting salvation.