Are Angels Real?
I’ve been living in Germany for 5-1/2 years and I’ve had the privilege to sit with individuals from different countries with varying customs and religious beliefs and practices. During my time here, those of different faiths have had a keen interest on the topic of angels.
Regardless of cultural differences, it appears there is a universal desire to believe one has a guardian angel, even though a vast majority have no interest in knowing if God is real. Some have never seen a Bible, but they are still in search for answers when it comes to celestial beings.
My knowledge of one of God’s most beautiful creations taught in scripture was quite limited. Many have asked:
“Are angels real?”
“Where do they come from?”
“Who are angels?”
“What do they do?”
I’ve come to recognize how narrow my western Christianity focus is and how to witness to people outside of my own faith. People are fascinated with angels and this is a subject matter where we as Christians have a great opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
An example to the importance of this are from the conversations my husband and I have had with those of the Hindu faith. Hindus have over 300 million idols and a broad range of traditions and religious practices. For them, the topic of angels is another idol to add to their long list of gods and goddesses.
The majority of scripture I’ve been educated on tend to reveal angels appeared, made an announcement, and told the onlookers, “don’t be afraid.” That’s where my Biblical understanding of angels ended.
Many of you reading this may never move to another country. It’s a topic you may have no interest in. However, as nations become more diverse, we as Christians must be prepared to witness to those who are asking questions about the supernatural ways of God.
We cannot remain in our little corner of the church and community and expect to spread the gospel when we aren’t educated on topics that aren’t high on our list of subjects.
If the church in general isn’t addressing this topic on a Sunday morning, how can we teach people to be God-seekers and not angel-seekers? I think it starts with understanding who angels are and why God created them.
First and foremost, we are to worship God, the Creator, not the created.
The following are just a few verses found in scripture to support answers to their questions:
Where do angels come from?
Angels are created beings. “Praise Him, all the armies of heaven! … Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for He issued His command, and they came into being.” Psalm 148:1-5
God “made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world ... “ Colossians 1:16
Angels live in heaven: When Jesus was born, “ … the angels had returned to heaven...” Luke 2:15
Angels have the capacity to invade. “And He said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’.” Luke 1:15 Luke 2:15 Genesis 28:12
There are millions of angels: “Millions of angels ministered to Him; many millions stood to attend Him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10 and Hebrews 12:22
What are the characteristics of angels?
- Spirit beings: They are not All-knowing, Omnipresent, or Omnipotent. Only God is. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" Matthew 24:36 and Psalm 103:20-22
- Human form: “Don’t forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
- Have names: Michael and Gabriel are recorded in scripture. Luke 1:19 and Jude 1:9
- Have free will: Such was the case when Lucifer chose to leave heaven and rebelled against God. Ezekiel 28:12-19; “Angels sinned.” I Peter 2:4
- Intelligent: “I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil ... But you are as wise as an angel of God.” 2 Samuel 14:17, 20
- Have emotions: “...countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering...” When one person is saved the angels in heaven celebrate and rejoice. Hebrews 12:22 and Luke 15:10
What do angels do?
- Worship God day and night: “Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb … ” Revelation 5:11-13
- God’s heavenly messengers:
- Angels obey God’s commands and His Word. Angels are in service to God, not man, and are given specific assignments by God. “Praise the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His word. Psalm 103:20 and Psalm 91:11
- When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” 2 Samuel 24:16
- Protect: “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and He delivers them.” Psalm 34:7 - “For He orders His angels to protect you ... "
- Notice the prerequisite to receiving God’s protection in Psalm 91: “If you make the Lord your refuge, ... For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.” Psalm 91:9-11
- Encourage: “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:2 “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.” John 1:50-51
I haven’t found verses that state I have a specific guardian angel. What I’ve found is that the Bible is clear that God sends angels where He wills to help guide us, protect us, and encourage us. Exodus 23:34 states “ … and my (God’s) angel will go before you.”
Don’t be an angel-seeker, be a God-seeker. When we seek God, we never know what our physical eyes may behold.
Comfort is knowing God has “my back” at all times. He’s my provider, my protector, and He chooses how He takes care of me. It may come from a parent, a pastor, a sister, or an angel.
Don’t assume you may never be asked by a non-believer if angels are real. Ask your pastor or elders in the church to educate you on all manner of scripture. Don’t be led astray or caught unaware by what the world is seeking. Angels do not answer prayers. They answer to God.
Know your Bible and what it says about angels who are heavenly messengers sent by God. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teaching, correcting, and equipping us to do every good work for God’s kingdom. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We are to worship God, the Creator, not the created.
Take time to look up additional verses:
- Genesis 22:11-12
- Judges 13:13-14
- Matthew 1:18-24
- Luke 2:8-15
- Acts 8:26
- Acts 27:23-24
Christmas has come to an end, but the story of Jesus lives on. Take another look at the accounts of the Christmas story and the role angels played for the coming Messiah. I want to join in with the angels and sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty.” Isaiah 6:3 Isaiah 9:6-7
What have I missed?
Is this a topic you are learning about in church? I'd love to hear from you.