Angels 101

So, what do you picture when you think of the word “Angel”? Maybe a cute chubby little baby with wings comes to mind; or a tall brooding figure with enormous wings carrying a message. There are also many that consider them human looking, like us, made in the image and likeness of God. Except that isn't exactly accurate to what they really look like according to what we know based off the Bible. So without further ado, let’s myth bust the common person's’ perception of angels.

Fact 1

Did you know 68% of Americans say that they believe in both angels and demons? Many actually only believe in  one or the other.

Myth 1

“Angels always have wings, how else would they be able to get places so quickly?”

Nope, contrary to what most modern Christians believe, angels having wings have never been absolutely proven in the Bible, actually quite the opposite. Here’s a verse that describes angels as something else.

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

— Hebrews 1:14

Spirits? Spirits don’t exactly have wings, so this actually points more to them appearing like a spectra would. However i’m sure many are already asking, “But what about the quotes claiming angels have wings?” Here’s the thing, the quotes mentioning this concept do have context such as the quote:

Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

— Isaiah 6:2

As you may already be able to tell, the way this is stated doesn’t seem to claim that the wings were attached to them, but rather it was something that appeared with  them. Humans, always look for normality, and with the way Isaiah claimed he did fly, its possible these creatures showed themselves to him in a way that seemed logical, for them simply appearing in their real form he may of mistaken them for something other than God’s angels. More than likely, the reason they can get to people so quickly is because they appear rather than fly, and the wings are more of a human visualization of what they should look like. That actually brings us to our second myth.

Myth 2

“Don’t angels look just like humans?”

Not necessarily, because like prior mentioned, angels take on appearances that make them less threatening to humans. What’s less threatening to a human than another human? Most likely, angels are like energy, which would also explain why some people feel like angels are around, but they don’t appear right in front of you. Angels already have abilities far greater than any person, and whenever mentioned in the Bible one important word is always stated: “Appeared.” This word, as mentioned before, isn’t stating that angels looked like humans, but rather that’s how they appeared to them. We can see this in the quote:

And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.

— Luke 1:11-20

Appeared, once again is repeated here, and  remember how context is absolutely everything. The Bible has been written to perfection, and it is stated that every word written down in that book was influenced by God himself. Every word. Appeared, was a precise word choice, and it wasn’t by chance in the slightest. God created us in his image, to his greatest extent. Remember, God originally created us in Eden without sin, however the tree also gave us humans practically every critical thought. Angels, are probably a step above humans, and are closer to God than humans in the aspect of being without sin. They resemble God in their flawlessness. If this were a test on how closely linked image wise angels were to God compared to humans, based off biblical text we can guess angels are 80% and humans are 50%. Angels, do not have the same power as God himself, as seen when God damned the devil to hell. No one can outmatch God. The main difference between us and angels is that humans sinned and ate the fruit, angels did not.

Fact  2

Did you know that the devil was once an angel? He was banished when he attempted to overthrow God.

Well, angels are a confusing bunch. The same faith that we put in God, we can put in his messengers. After all, they come from one of the same. Angels, throughout the Bible have been crucial to help give and receive messages to and from the Lord. The main reason that this is important is because they deserve to be talked about and remembered. Many say they believe in God, yet they do not believe in angels. Like prior mentioned they are a key to many bible stories, like with the angel Gabriel and the good news he gave Mary. They matter. Without them, many may of been intimidated by the gospel. They mimicked humans appearance to seem less frightening at first glance, so that people would come to them.

People in my life, and those in yours will mention angels, I promise you. Now when they ask you these things, you’ll be equipped with the answers! Oh, and if you’re wondering why there are only two myths here, I’m planning on making this a series on angels, demons, and some figures in the Bible, so you can be prepared for these common questions.

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Lillian Putnam

Severn Run