Angels are members of an order of heavenly beings, who are superior to human beings in power and intelligence. By nature angels are spiritual beings; their nature is superior to human nature. They have superhuman power and knowledge, yet they are not all-powerful, or all-knowing (Ps.103:20; 2 Thess. 1:7). They were created by God, therefore, their knowledge is limited, and does not compare to the knowledge of our Omniscient Creator. They have emotions and a will; and like all creatures they are subject to the will of God. This is true of both, the good angels and the evil angels (demons). Good angels are ministering agents sent by God to minister to those who shall be heir of salvation. They are spirit beings without true physical bodies, but they do have personalities.
Angels are in Service To:
- Praise and worship God (Ps. 148:1-2; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:8-13).
- Rejoice in what God does (Job 38:6-7).
- They minister to the heirs of salvation in service to God (Ps. 103:20; Rev. 22:9).
- Appear before God (Job 1:6; 2:1).
- Serve as instruments of God’s judgments (Rev. 7:1; 8:2).
- Deliver messages / answers to prayers (Acts 12:5-10).
- They aid in winning people (souls) to Christ (Acts 8:26; 10:3).
- They observe Christian order (1 Cor. 4:9; 11:10; Eph. 3:10; 1 Pet. 1:12).
- Encourage in times of danger (Acts 27:23-24).
- They care for the righteous at the time of death (Luke 16:22).
What are the different types of angels?
There are two categories of angels, “the fallen and the unfallen”. Unfallen angels are those who have remained holy throughout their existence and accordingly are referred to as “holy angels” (Matt. 25:31).
By contrast, the fallen angels are those who have not maintained their holiness and are described as “fallen from their estate.” Led by satan, they rebelled against God and became sinful in their nature and work (Isa. 14).
Fallen angels have been divided into two classes, “those who are free and those who are bound”. When satans fell from heaven, one third of an innumerable company of angels (Heb. 12:22), chose to rebel with him. Of these, some are held in chains, awaiting judgment day (1 Cor. 6:3; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). The remainder are free and are the demons, or devils to whom constant reference is made throughout the New Testament (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:30; 1 Tim. 4:1). They serve satan in his undertakings and share his doom (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
2 Peter 2:4, describes the position of the angels who rebelled and fell,
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.”
God cast them down from their place of their holiness, out of heaven, from their holy place, and chained them down below and delivered them to be chains of darkness. Though they excel vastly in strength, they are held in by Christ, who has the power of binding and loosing. As the judge of both men and devils, Christ will bring them forth and execute judgment and sentence on them.
Order of Angel Hierarchy
- Seraphim – Highest Rank, closes to God
- Archangels – Chief Angels
- Cherubim – Their image appears over the Mercy Seat in the Holies of Holy.
- Angels – lowest in rank
Seraphim – (fiery, burning ones) – angelic or heavenly beings associated with Isaiah’s vision of God in the Temple when he was called to his ministry (Isa. 6:1-7). This is the only place in the Bible that mentions these mysterious creatures. Each seraph had six wings. They used two to cover their faces. The seraphim flew about the throne on which God was seated, singing His praises as they called special attention to His glory and majesty. These beings apparently also served as agents of purification for Isaiah as he began his prophetic ministry. One placed a hot coal against Isaiah’s lips with the word, “Your iniquity is taken away and your sin purged” (Is. 6:7).
Archangel – The word “archangel” comes from a Greek word meaning “chief angel.” In the celestial hierarchy, a spiritual being rank above an angel. The word “archangel” occurs several times in the Bible. In the New Testament the voice of an archangel and the sounding of the trumpet of God will signal the coming of Christ for His people (1 Thess. 4:16). Michael is described as having great power and authority (Dan. 10:13) and is the guardian of Israel (Dan. 10:21), especially in the “time of trouble” in the last days (Dan. 12:1). He disputed with the devil for the body of Moses (Jude 9).
Cherubim – winged angelic beings, often associated with worship and praise of God. The cherubim are first mentioned in the Bible in Gen. 3:24. After evicting Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, God placed cherubim at the east of the garden, “and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Symbolic representations of cherubim were used in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Two cherubim made of gold were stationed at the two ends of the Mercy Seat, above the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies (Ex. 25:17-22; 1 Chr. 28:18).
When building the Temple, Solomon ordered that two cherubim be made of olive wood and overlaid with gold. These gigantic cherubim were placed inside the inner sanctuary, or in the Most Holy Place in the Temple; their wings were spread over the Ark of the Covenant. (1Ki. 6:23-28; 8:6-7; 2 Chr. 3:10-13; 5:7-8).
Angels – God’s ministers or servants sent to His pleasure. The most exalted angels are but ministering spirits sent to execute His commands. They are sent to minister to those who are heirs of salvation. Their ministry lies in both temporal and spiritual things concerning both body and soul. They assist in providing provisions, protection, and comforting our souls. They put forth this office faithfully with diligence executing it according to the will of Christ. They are sent to execute the divine command on behalf of those who are saved. Angels are to be respected and esteemed but not worshiped. There are times that humans serve as angels on the earth, and Scripture tells us to be kind to strangers because we could be entertaining angels unaware.
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Stay tuned for “Part Two” to this article, which answers the question “Which will you be chained or free?” There are answers to the questions that you thought about, but didn’t bother to ask!
(Additional Scripture Reference: Heb. 1:14; 2:7; 2 Sam. 14:17; 20; 2 Pet. 2:11; Ps. 103:20; 2 Thess. 1:7; Ps. 148:2, 5; Job 38:4-7.
Matt. 8:29; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Pet. 1:12; Luke 2:13; Jam. 2:19; Rev. 12:17; Luke 8:28-31; 2 Tim. 2:26; Jude 6.)
(Source References: Got Questions.org; Biblehub.com; Nelson’s Newly Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
(The pictures shown are for display purposes only. No where in the Bible are angels referenced in the feminine gender.)