Angel attributes and tasks

This series on angels and demons continues with a look at the types of angels that God created, their attributes, and their tasks.  In the Bible, there are seven kinds of angels listed: cherubim (Genesis 3:24), seraphim (Isaiah 6:2), archangels (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities, all of which are found in Colossians 1:16.

What attributes do these spirit beings possess?  First, they are not on God’s level when it comes to omniscience.  They don’t know all things, like when the end of the world is (Mark 13:32).  Second, they are not omnipresent like God–they can’t be everywhere.  We see this in Daniel 10:13, where an angel couldn’t get to Daniel right away since it was detained, presumbably, by a demonic spirit.  Third, even though they are not on God’s level, angels are extremely powerful.  In 2 Kings 19:35, the Assyrian army loses 185,000 soldiers in one night due to the angel of the Lord.  Fourth, even though they can kill, angels cannot die–they are immortal.  In a related point, they are not dead humans–we don’t become angels when we die.  In Matthew 22:30, Jesus says, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”  Notice that Jesus said “like” angels, not “become angels.” 

What tasks do angels accomplish for God?  There are three listed in the Bible.  One, they praise God.  Luke 2:13-14 records the angels singing “glory to God in the highest,” and on earth, peace and good will to men because of Jesus’ birth as the promised Messiah.  Two, angels follow God’s commands in obedience.  Psalm 103:20-21 says, “Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.  Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.”  Three, angels protect and serve believers according to Hebrews 1:14.  It says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”  If you were raised with the concept of guardian angels, your parents weren’t making that concept up–it is a biblical concept.

But from what would angels protect us?  Demons–the subject of the next blog.

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