Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bad Angels

Nearly everyone knows the story of Lucifer: the chief of God's angels who rebelled against God and was cast to earth. This angel is also called Satan or the Devil. The Bible tells us that a third of the heavenly host was also banished and Satan leads this group of troublemakers. We call them demons.

Angels and demons abound in popular fiction and film. Interest in the supernatural realm has always been strong because humans are also spiritual beings. Although we have earthly bodies now, the essence of who we are is spirit just as God, who created us, is a spirit. Angels and demons often appear in human form, in disguise as it were, so that many who have encountered them have not recognized them as supernatural beings.

Leaving demons aside because we can safely say that they are all evil, let's consider the question of the character of angels. People are described as angels if they are either beautiful and kind, or both. A Google search of images of angels brought up a plethora of female beauties with wings; some of them even sexy. The Bible mentions angels 273 times, and describes them as created beings who cannot die. They most often appear in masculine human form, or in dazzling white. The typical response to seeing the latter is fear and awe. Most angels do not have wings. Humans do not became angels when they die.

Angels are essentially ministering agents of God who are more powerful and more knowledgeable than humans but not omnipotent or omniscient. The carry out a range of benevolent functions including the provision of physical needs, encouragement, guidance and protection. They also rescue people, deliver messages to them. and care for them at their death. These nice functions are why we like angels. Even people who don't believe in God, sometimes like to believe in angels because they are nice and helpful.

Angels are also warriors and executioners. An angel destroyed the Assyrian army, and another one smote the firstborn of Egypt during the time for Moses. Angels can cause blindness and bring plagues. Angels can do things which most people would not consider very angelic, nevertheless they exist to do the will of God so we can assume they are righteous and holy. They also have free will as we do.

I have allowed myself to be sidetracked again from my promised comparison of the angels in Touched by an Angel and Supernatural, but as I find the general topic fascinating I am rolling with it. More next week.

What do you think of angels? Have you ever seen one? Do you believe in them?

Further reading about angels according to the Bible.

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