You’ve seen them in paintings, movies, and books. You’ve heard them in songs, prayers, and stories. But how much do you really know about angels? You might be shocked by some of the facts and myths about these heavenly beings.
Who are they?
Angels are God’s servants and messengers. They are not human, but they can look like us when they visit us. They are powerful and intelligent, but they are not all-knowing or all-powerful. They can also be in more than one place at a time.
Angels have different jobs and ranks. Some of them are:
- Guardians: They watch over us, protect us from harm, and pray for us.
- Messengers: They deliver God’s messages to us.
- Warriors: They fight against evil forces.
- Worshipers: They praise God in heaven.
Are they all good?
No! Some angels turned against God and became demons. They are led by Lucifer, who was once the most beautiful angel. He became proud and jealous of God, and tried to overthrow Him. He failed, and was cast out of heaven by Michael, the chief angel. Now he hates God and His children, and tries to tempt us to sin.
What do they look like?
Angels don’t have a fixed appearance. They can change their shape and size according to God’s will. They usually appear as humans, but sometimes they show their true form.
Only four types of angels have wings in the Bible:
- Cherubim: They guard God’s throne and His holy places. They have four faces (human, lion, ox, eagle) and four wings.
- Seraphim: They surround God’s throne and sing His praises. They have six wings (two cover their faces, two cover their feet, two fly).
- Ophanim: They are also called wheels or thrones. They carry God’s throne and His chariot. They have many eyes on their rims and spokes.
- Living creatures: They are similar to cherubim and seraphim. They have four faces (human, lion, ox, eagle) and six wings.
What do they do?
Angels have many roles and stories in different religions and cultures. Here are some examples:
- In Islam, angels are made of light and have no free will. They obey God without question. One of them is Jibril (Gabriel), who revealed the Quran to Muhammad.
- In Hinduism, angels are called devas or devatas. They are part of a complex hierarchy of gods and goddesses. One of them is Indra, the king of heaven and the god of thunder.
- In Buddhism, angels are called devas or dakinis. They are benevolent beings who help humans on their path to enlightenment. One of them is Tara, the goddess of compassion and wisdom.
- In Judaism and Christianity, angels have many stories in the Bible. Some of them are:
- Gabriel: He announced the birth of Jesus to Mary.
- Raphael: He healed Tobias and his father.
- Uriel: He warned Noah of the flood.
- Metatron: He is considered the highest angel in some traditions.
Why should we care?
Angels are amazing creatures that deserve our respect and gratitude. But we should also be careful not to worship them or rely on them too much.
As one writer said: ‘The greatest weapon we have in the spiritual battle is prayer.’