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The Role of Angels

Angels: What are They – The first item to tackle is the identity of angels. Who and what are they? Are they glorified dead persons, as many books and movies imagine? Are they sweet, chubby cherubs who float along on fluffy clouds, dreaming of lazy afternoons?

The Bible presents no such saccharine pictures. It presents angels as powerful “ministering spirits” (see Angels in Heb. 1:14), created by God sometime before He called the universe into being (Job 38:7), to serve and worship Him (Heb. 1:7).

Angels differ from one another in power and glory and function. Some, like Gabriel, serve primarily as messengers (Dan. 8:16; Luke 1:26), while others, like Michael the archangel, are said to have special protective responsibilities (Dan 12:1; Jude 1:9; 1 Thess. 4:16). Angels called cherubim are closely associated with the throne of God (Ezek. 10:20), while another class of angels, called seraphim, apparently guard the heavenly throne and lead in worship (Isaiah chapter 6). We read of a destroying angel in the plagues sent on wandering Israel (1 Cor. 10:10), and (in 2 Kings 19:35), we learn that “the angel of the Lord” in a single night put to death 185,000 Assyrian troops who were besieging King Hezekiah’s Jerusalem. God’s angels are powerful, wise, swift, efficient, and devoted to doing the will of the Lord.

Not all Angels are Good: Scripture distinguishes between “the holy angels” (Mark 8:38), who serve God, and the “demons” who answer to Beelzebub, the devil (Mark 3:22). Demons are apparently fallen angels (Rev. 12:4), who long ago chose to rebel against God and join Satan’s unholy insurrection. Some of these fallen angels so heinously transgressed God’s order that they are kept in darkness and bound in everlasting chains for their day of judgment (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4). Others are allowed to roam the earth and often seek to “possess” individuals by indwelling their bodies (Matt. 12:43-45).

Angels in Revelation: Angels, both holy and fallen, are mentioned in the book of Revelation no less than 77 times.

Worshipping Angels: Throughout the bible we are told that we are never to worship angels. John in the Book of Revelation was told several times by an angel not to do that. The angel in John’s book expressly told him to only worship God. (Rev. 19:10 and 22:9); Only Worship God.

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