Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Truth About Angels: Fact or Fiction Pt. 1

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. Revelation 5:11
Angels. Millions of them. In heaven. On earth. And probably not the least bit like what you would expect them to be.

In the next few posts, I hope to clear up some myths about these intriguing beings and shed some light on who they really are, what their purpose is and what significance they hold for us personally. In doing so, it is my prayer that we would all acquire a slightly more accurate perspective on heaven, as well. After all, how better might we understand a place than by learning about those who inhabit it. And in the process, I think we will also be given a clearer picture of the true nature of the one who created them, God himself.

For starters, let's clear up what exactly angels ARE and ARE NOT:

  • Angels ARE NOT deceased human beings. Contrary to popular belief, we do not become angels when we die. Humans and angels are distinctly different creations. Humans have a soul that, upon death, goes immediately to either be with the Lord if the person was a believer in Jesus Christ, or to hell if they were not. We have mortal bodies which die and are separated from our spirit upon death and will one day be resurrected and transformed into an immortal, glorified body like the one that Jesus has now. Angels ARE immortal and were created for the sole purpose of serving God and ministering to believers (Hebrews 1:14).
  • Angels ARE spiritual beings; they are minds without form. They do not have flesh and blood, and they ARE NOT bound by our laws of physics. However, they can appear in human form, and in fact, quite often do, though we typically are unaware of it. They may show up in a time of need, an anonymous stranger who happens to show up at just the right time; they may themselves appear to be the one in need, not because they truly are helpless, but simply to test us. Hebrews 13:2 tells us, "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!"
  • Get ready for this one: Angels DO NOT have wings! The Bible does not indicate in any way, shape or form that angels have wings. Perhaps the misconception comes from the fact that they DO, in deed, "fly"; that is, they travel through the air, but they do not do so with the aid of wings, like a bird. However, this leads me to my next point, which is...
  • Angels ARE NOT the only heavenly beings which the Bible speaks of. There are two other beings which God created, which are Cherubim and Seraphim. These creatures DO have wings, as described in books such as Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, and Revelation. These creatures ARE NOT angels, and they serve an entirely different purpose than angels do, something we'll get into in a later post. And speaking of Cherubim, "im" making it the plural form of the word cherub, a word that undoubtedly brings to mind certain Valentine's Day-related imagery, some clarification might be needed...
  • Let's start with Cherubim: They, most emphatically, ARE NOT chubby babies with bows and arrows and harps. For starters, not only are they not babies, but they are also NOT female, none of the heavenly beings are! The Bible always, in every single reference to cherubim, seraphim and angels, refers to them with male pronouns: he, him, his, etc. They are all masculine. They ARE also mighty, fearsome warriors! Should we need any convincing of this, we need only take a look at the account of one angel who was sent to the aid of Hezekiah in Isaiah 37. Hezekiah was up against insurmountable odds, facing certain defeat by the Assyrians, a group of people known for their ruthlessness, their mastery of torture and death, their unmatchable strength and power. What army could possibly defeat them? And yet, God sends ONE angel! Not an army, but ONE. And this one angel singlehandedly slays 185 THOUSAND soldiers in one night, securing the victory for God's servant Hezekiah! Now that's might and power!
More fascinating facts in the next post...

*For further study, I suggest you take a listen to these sermons by Pastor J. Mark Martin of Calvary Community Church in Phoenix: Angels Among Us: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.


  1. wow, I am so excited to keep reading these! I have always been interested in learning more and crazy thing is about a week ago one of my sisters wrote about angels in a poem she wrote and it broke my heart because her idea of heaven and angels is just that an idea not fact. I am excited to learn truth from your study so I can share it.

    What stuck out to me is that there are 3 different creatures all are male. Humans are so different and there are females like you and I! Which brings a new light to me for why God made female humans! so excited!

    -Hope4Purity (Hope)

    1. Love your thought about the uniqueness of the fact that humans are composed of both men and women. And you're so right that God designed us with a very specific purpose. He could have made female angels, but he didn't. The fact that we girls are here should definitely inspire us to seek out WHY he made us and seek to FULFILL the purpose for which we were made, a purpose that is so different from that of men. Maybe I should do a series on that later :)

    2. I would love if you did a series on that, I think it would be really encouraging to hear why and learn because I believe we are in a generation weather in the church or not where Girls can't see their worth! Its so sad

  2. Sorry, no disrespect intended, but what are you qualifications for interpreting Scripture? Are these just your opinions or do you have some training?

    Scripture commands that we have a meek and quiet spirit. Is blogging your interpretations of God's word really meek or quiet?

    1. Hi Jacy! No disrespect taken :) You are right to question the authority of ANYone who speaks/writes about the Word of God. You absolutely must hold what they say up against the words of the Bible.

      The things that I write on this blog are rooted in lots and lots of research, reading of other texts, listening to various sermons on related subjects, and very prayerfully comparing what I learn from those teachers with what has been laid out for us in God's word. I then take what I have learned and communicate those facts along with the "lessons" that God has spoken to me through study and prayer. For this series in particular, much of the information that I share here was gleaned from the teachings of Pastor J. Mark Martin of Calvary Community Church in Phoenix There's a link to this website in my sidebar, but I meant to leave a link at the bottom of the post as well. I'll go add that now!

      As far as being "meek and quiet", are you sure you understand what that means or refers to? We certainly should not aimlessly spout out opinions and ideas that have absolutely no basis in prayer, study, or Scriptural support. But we also have authority, and quite frankly, a responsibility, through the power of the Holy Spirit to speak TRUTH and to speak it boldly. I believe God has given me a spiritual gift of prophecy and teaching, and I am merely using that gift to the best of my ability, praying that anyone who reads this might be encouraged, edified, and challenged to read for themselves, honestly evaluate their relationship or lack thereof with God, and commit to living in a way that glorifies God and blesses others.

      If there was a specific point or statement of mine that you found incorrect or Biblically unsound, I would love to hear your thoughts. I would be happy to either correct the statement or show you how I came to that conclusion.

      Thanks for your thoughts! God bless!