What are Angels?

What Are Angels by Jim and Elizabeth George

If you are like many people, when you think of angels, your mind immediately thinks about the figure many people place on the top of the Christmas tree. Perhaps we are inclined to respond this way because the Christmas story in Luke 2 mentions angels who spoke to the shepherds.

The English word angel comes from the Greek word angelos, meaning messenger. In Scripture, an angel is essentially a created being whose task is to be a messenger from God.

What are Angels?

GOOD ANGELS

This category is made up of holy angels or angels of God. Jesus also spoke of “his angels” as those who would be called upon to provide assistance (Matthew 24:31). Michael is described as the commander of the army of good angels who defeated and expelled evil angels from heaven (Revelation 12:7-8). Gabriel, the other good angel named in the Bible, appears to be the chief messenger angel.

Within the category of good angels there are angels with different purposes:

Cherubim — The first kind of angels mentioned in the Bible are cherubim. They were celestial beings sent by God to guard the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24). They were represented symbolically in the Ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:18-22), in the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:31), in the temple (2 Chronicles 3:7), and seen by the prophet Ezekiel in a vision of the restored Jerusalem (Ezekiel 41:18-22).

Seraphim — These angels have their ministry in heaven. They were seen by Isaiah in a vision as hovering above the throne of God and described as having six wings (Isaiah 6:1-3).

Guardian angels — These are sent by God to minister to all believers (Hebrews 1:14), and to those angels who guide the affairs of nations, also called the “chief princes” (Daniel 10:10-14).

God’s messengers — These good angels announced and heralded the birth of Christ. They also tended to Jesus in the wilderness and in the Garden of Gethsemane. They were present at the empty tomb of the resurrected Lord and at His ascension into heaven. In the future they will proclaim God’s messages of judgment (Revelation 14-17) and, as messengers, will execute God’s judgment (Revelation 20:1-3).

FALLEN ANGELS

This category of angelic beings consists of “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). They formally resided in heaven, but their unfaithfulness and disobedient to God, they were driven out of heaven. Satan is the chief advocate of evil and wickedness in this group of fallen angels. Although Satan as an angel is very powerful, he does not possess the ability to be in more than one place at a time, nor is he all-knowing, and he cannot read minds. In the book of Job we read about him needing permission from God to afflict and tempt Job. While he is powerful and manipulative, he is ultimately under God's dominion.

Living In the Victory of Christ

While there is a war going on between Satan and believers, it is not a war you can see. It’s spiritual warfare. You don’t have to wait until Christ's return to see who will win. God has already defeated Satan and the power of sin and death with Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection. His ministering angels are sent to help all believers as we journey through this life.

Today and every day Satan still tries to wreak as much havoc as possible. He still uses the same schemes and tactics and lies he has used on every other human being-including Adam and Eve-to tempt you to doubt God and His promises and sin. Through the power of Christ, we can resist him and his lies. Remember these commands and promises given in the Bible:

  1. “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11)
  2. “Be alert and sober minded, for your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
  3. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he’ll flee from you.” (James 4:7)

    RESPOND

    Dear Lord, thank you for your ministering angels. Thank you for defeating Satan and providing us with the armor of your Word. When temptation comes my way, remind me of your promises and give me strength to resist and trust you. Amen.

    RENEWING RESOURCES

    The 50 Most Important Teachings of The Bible — With great clarity and simplicity, Jim George outlines essential elements of the faith, including today's devotion on angels, in this helpful Bible study tool.

     

    REFLECT

    Each morning, put on the full armor of God as protection against the fallen angel Satan: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (see Ephesians 6). Know that both ministering Spirits and the Holy Spirit are sent to help all believers.

    REMEMBER

    God has already defeated Satan in the power of sin and death with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Ministering angels are serving God and His purposes in this world.


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    Jim and Elizabeth George

    Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

    • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
    • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
    • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
    • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
    • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
    • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

    Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

    Jim and Elizabeth George

    Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

    • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
    • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
    • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
    • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
    • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
    • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

    Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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