We Dont Know How Many Angels Exist
The Bible doesnt tell us how many angels God created. But apparently, there are a lot of them. Here are a few of the ways the Bible tells us how many angels there are:
- On Mount Sinai, God came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fire at his right hand .
- We also learn that, the chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands .
- When we come to worship, we come into the presence of innumerable angels .
- John says, I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands .
Every biblical reference to the total number of angels suggests that theyre beyond counting.
What Is The Nature Of Angels
What is the essence of angels? We do not precisely know.
As indicated earlier, they possess the nature of neither deity nor humanity. Scripture does affirm that they are spirits . But then we do not know much about the nature of a spirit.
A spirit is not physical. It does not possess flesh and bones . Angels thus do not engage in physical relationships . There is little positive information about the makeup of these heavenly creatures.
Angels are accountable to some type of heavenly law for some angels sinned , and sin is defined as transgression of divine law . Where there is no law, there can be no sin
When angels sin, however, the gospel plan of redemption apparently is not applicable to them. An inspired writer affirms:
For verily not to angels does he give help, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham .
Is it possible that their intimacy with God made angelic rebellion inexcusable and thus beyond the pale of redemption? The Bible does not explain this mystery.
Fallen Angels And The Great Rebellion
The Great Rebellion, as some call it, is an event that saw Satan and one-third of the angelic hosts of Heaven war against God and His angels in an attempt to overthrow Gods reign in the eternal sphere:
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.
The sons of God is a biblical reference that confirms the angels in other places, too:
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Biblical Reasons Angels Of God Are Sent To Earth:
1. To give a message from God There are many examples in the Bible of when God sends an angel to give a specific message to an individual or people. In Genesis 18, God sent three men, messengers, to Abraham and Sarah to tell them that she would bear a son. He sent an angel to Sarahs servant Hagar in the desert, as she fled in Genesis 16, to give hope that she was not forgotten.
He sent an angel to the discouraged Gideon in Judges 6, who greeted him with the words, The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.
He sent the angel Gabriel to Mary, in Luke 1, to tell that she would give birth to the very Son of God. The angel Gabriel came to Zechariah to tell of the news that Elizabeth would bear a son in Luke 1. God sent an angel messenger to the shepherds in Luke 2 to tell them of Jesus birth. In Matthew 28, an angel appeared at the tomb of Christ to announce that Jesus rose.
2. To protect us Many times God sends angels to protect, guard, and fight for us. God tells us in Psalm 91 that He would give angels charge concerning us to guard us in all our ways.
God sent an angel to Daniel in the lions den. Daniel 6:22 says that he shut the mouth of the lions so that no harm came to him who was found blameless before God.
God reminded the Israelites of his presence with them in Exodus 23:20 when he said, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
Publication date: March 17, 2015
Angels Strengthen And Comfort Believers
The fourth purpose of angels is to inwardly strengthen and comfort us in times of sorrow. Most notably, Jesus was strengthened by an angel in his most trying time in the garden at Gethsemane.
In Luke 22:40-43, the Bible tells us, n reaching the place, he said to them, Pray that you will not fall into temptation. He withdrew about a stones throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me yet not my will, but yours be done. An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
John Gill explained Jesus was strengthened by this visible angel against the terrors of Satan, and the fears of death, by assuring him of the divine favor, as man, and of the fulfillment of the promise to him to stand by him, assist, strengthen, and carry him through what was before him.
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What Do We Know About Angels From The Bible
We can see in Job that not all angels can be seen for they work in the spirit realm. We know that they are created as ranking a little higher than we are.
48. Job 4:15-19 Then a spirit passed by my face The hair of my flesh bristled up. It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance A form was before my eyes There was silence, then I heard a voice: Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? He puts no trust even in His servants And against His angels He charges error. How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before the moth!
Why Did God Create Angels
Angels were created by God to do His bidding. They all have different purposes. Some of the Seraphim stand at the face of God. Some angels are used as messengers, while others battle demons. All angels are spiritual beings that serve Him and minister to Him.
6. Revelation 14:6-8 And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this worldto every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 Fear God, he shouted. Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water. 8 Then another angel followed him through the sky, shouting, Babylon is fallenthat great city is fallenbecause she made all the nations of the world drink the wine of her passionate immorality.
7. Revelation 5:11-12 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!
8. Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly.
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Fact #: Angels Are Not Necessary
Because angels have limitations, they are not essential. Now, bear with me as I explain this one. When we consider that God is sovereign above all thingsall circumstances, all people, all powers, all forces, all processesit becomes apparent that He does not need angels. In the same way He was perfectly complete before the creation of man, God was perfectly complete before the creation of angels. After all, there is nothing He cannot do.
So, why would He create them?
The simplest answer is because it pleased Him to create them. Revelation 4:11 states, You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things, and they exist and were created . Other passages, particularly those weve studied in Revelation, make it clear that angels devote themselves to bringing Him glory and praise, which is part of their purpose. Yet, a final look at Hebrews 1:14 may give us the clearest picture of Almighty Gods purpose in creating angels. Angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.
Has this investigation into the supernatural world of angels challenged your thinking in some way? I hope so, and I hope youll join me for part two in this series when we look at the counterparts of Gods angelsthe dark world of demonsand their impact on humanity.
Why Did Some Of The Angels Fall From Heaven
God operates with complete order and authority. There is a chain of command and the holy angels always do what he says. The angels who rebelled against his authority were cast out of Heaven.
Lucifer was a guardian cherub , one of the angel orders closest to God. He became prideful in his perfect beauty and wanted to be worshipped. He decided to become God and take the throne.
A third of the angels joined Lucifer in his rebellion and they were cast down to earth like lightning. They do not live in hell, they roam the earth and the heavens circling it , seeking to tempt and separate people from God.
Satans defeat was when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, covering our sins and paying our debts that would have sent us to hell with the devil. And the fallen angels days on earth are numbered. Jesus is coming back to earth and Satan, along with his demons and unbelievers, will be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever and ever.
And a side note, Satan will not be ruling in hell. He will be tormented, not the tormentor. It is Jesus who holds the keys to death and hades.
Satan is a powerful fallen angel, more powerful than humans, but he has no authority over believers. We are under the authority of Christ, who all things were made through and for.
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Angels Are Not To Be Worshipped
Worship of angels was one of the false doctrines being taught at Colossae . In the book of Revelation, an angel warns John not to worship him: You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God .
We shouldnt pray to angels, either. God is able to answer prayer. Paul warns us against thinking that any other mediator can come between us and God, for there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus . If we were to pray to angels, it would implicitly give them a status equal to God. There are no examples in Scripture of anyone praying to an angel or asking angels for help.
Moreover, Scripture gives us no warrant to seek appearances of angels. They manifest themselves unsought. To seek such appearances would seem to indicate an unhealthy curiosity or a desire for some kind of spectacular event rather than a love for God and devotion to him and his work. Though angels did appear to people at various times in Scripture, the people apparently never sought those appearances. Our role is rather to talk to the Lord, who is himself the commander of all angelic forces. However, it would not seem wrong to ask God to fulfill his promise in Psalm 91:11 to send angels to protect us in times of need.
Role #: Angels Are Warriors
While the idea of angels ministering to our needs is deeply comforting, the thought of angels as supernatural warriors might be downright concerningunless you study it carefully. Our modern military protects the nation from invasion and is comprised of specialists who work together to strategically outwit aggressors. It is similar with angels.
Throughout Scripture, we find story after story of Gods people emerging victoriously from physical and spiritual battles as they face insurmountable odds. It was angelic visitors who ushered Lot out of Sodom before destroying it . It was angelic guards who went ahead of the Israelites, protecting them as they departed Egypt and entered Canaan . It was the Angel of the Lord who killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in 2 Kings 19. And when our risen Lord rides into the Battle of Armageddon, He will be followed by armies of angels .
Psalm 34:7 summarizes it this way, The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. I dont know about you, but Im sure glad we have these warriors on our side!
And on the story goes. In case Jacob has any doubts as to the mastermind behind this selective breeding program, Scripture tells us the Angel of God appeared in Jacobs dreams and confirmed Gods role . Gods people do not have to worry about outcomes they must only worry about obedience to Gods plans.As provisioners, angels equip Gods people for victory.
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Did Angels Come To Earth And Have Relations With Women
Many good Bible teachers and scholars do take the view that the reference to angels who did not keep their own domain is a reference to that group of fallen angels whom Satan persuaded to cohabit with women and who were confined immediately because of the gross nature of that sin. The apocryphal book of Enoch describes their dramatic end. Another passage that may apply here is 2 Pet. 2:4-5 which says For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. Some believe these are the fallen angels who sinned grievously by cohabiting with women, as described in Gen. 6:1-4 . Or this may refer to angels who rebelled with Satan before Adam and Eve sinned. In either case they were consigned to hell, lit., tartarus, a prison holding them until their final judgment. Some evil angels, the demons, are still free and doing Satans will. The logic is that if God so punishes angels, surely He will not spare these false teachers.
For more detail on this, see Bob Deffinbaughs excellent study on Genesis 6 on our web site. I personally think this is what Jude, 1 Peter 2:4 and Gen. 6 are talking about, though other Bible teachers disagree.
Angels Give Praise To God
The primary purpose of angels is to give worship and praise to God.
In Luke 2:13-14, we are told nd suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
In Revelation 5:12, John heard them saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
Angels do not have the same relationship with Christ as we do. They have not experienced the heartaches and disappointments of life. They also have not experienced the redeeming and saving power of Jesus Christ. However, salvation and the reach of God are so very evidenced in heaven, the angels rejoice, exclaim, and praise His wondrous power and provision.
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Angels Are Not Omnipresent
Angels frequently appear as messengers in the Bible, traveling from one place to another .
The fact that angels are not omnipresent is made explicit when an angel comes to Daniel and says:
I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, so I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia and came to make you understand what is to befall your people in the latter days. Daniel 10:1214
If angels were omnipresent, Michael wouldnt have came to help because he wouldve already been there, and this angel wouldnt need to leave Michael to bring this message. Unlike God, who is omnipresent, angels are finite creatures, limited to one place at one time.
Angels Carry Out Some Of Gods Plans
There are numerous ways in which angels carry out Gods plans on earth:
- They frequently bring Gods messages to people .
- They carry out some of Gods judgments, bringing a plague upon Israel , smiting the leaders of the Assyrian army , striking King Herod dead because he did not give God glory , or pouring out bowls of Gods wrath on the earth .
- When Christ returns, angels will come with him as a great army accompanying their King and Lord .
- They patrol the earth as Gods representatives .
- They carry out war against demonic forces .
- John records that an angel seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit . . . .
- When Christ returns, an archangel will proclaim his coming .
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