Q. I've heard a lot about angels lately. Christians and non-Christians claim to have had encounters with angels, and there are all kinds of books about them, but are we to believe everyone? What does the Bible say about angels?
A. The Hebrew malak and the Greek aggelos - the two words used for "angel" in the Bible, both mean "messenger." Our God sometimes uses angels to send messages to His people.
Just suppose an "angel" appeared to you. How would you know it was an "elect" angel, and not a "fallen" angel (demon). Without exception, an angel of God will glorify God; they won't improve your karma, read your past lives, or increase your good luck.
...created. (Pslam 148:2,5) The common misconception that humans become angels upon their deaths (remember Highway to Heaven?) is incorrect.
...spiritual beings. (Hebrews 1:13, 14) They do not have flesh and bones, although at times they can appear in human form (Genesis 18:2-8).
...immortal. (Luke 20:36) The same angels that saw the creation of the world are still ministering to the saints!
...holy and elect. (Matthew 25:31, 1 Tim. 5:21) Except Satan (a fallen angel) and his demons.
...innumerable. (Hebrews 12:22)Despite Thomas Aquinas's attempt to number them, the fact remains that we cannot know how many of them dance on the end of a pin!
...wise. (2 Samuel 14:17,20), powerful ,(Psalm 103:20), and concerned in human affairs (1 Peter 1:12).
Angels are also meek (Jude 9), sexless (Matthew 22:30), invisible (Numbers 22:22-31) and obedient (Psalm 103:20). They have emotions (Luke 15:10) and they are not perfect (Pslams 4:8). Perhaps that is what makes them suitable to minister to us!
Their ministry to the saints? They are at God's command, not ours, to guide (Genesis 24:7,40), provide for (1 Kings 19:5-8), protect (Psalm 34:7), and deliver (Daniel 6:22) us. They direct our activities at times (Acts 8:26), and comfort and minister to us (Acts 27:23,24; Hebrews 1:14). One day, they will gather us to take us home to our Lord!(Matthew 24:31)
The unbelievers are not left out, though. Angels also serve as an instrument of God's punishment (Genesis 19:1,13; Jud 5:23; 2 Sam 24:15-17; Acts 12:23; Psalms 35:5,6).Their ministry and nature are very specific. The Bible tells us much about angels, I believe, to prepare us to differentiate the real thing from the counterfeit.