“The outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls… It was revealed to the prophets that they were not serving themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced through those who preach the good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (I Peter. 1:9-12)
Angels are interesting creatures. We certainly don’t know all there is to know about them. They are created beings, like us. Although some of them messed up and rebelled against God way back in the beginning time (becoming Satan and his demons), most stayed faithful to God and have continued faithful since then. That in itself is a mystery. For some reason it doesn’t appear they make choices like we do, with sin and rebelling against God a constant daily struggle. It seems to be rare, in fact only happening the one time we know of. There are many of them, 10 thousand X 10 thousand (Rev. 5:11-12).
Michael is named as an archangel (Daniel 12:1 an example). Gabriel is named as a chief messenger (Luke 1:28). Lucifer (Satan) is named (Isaiah 14:12KJV). That’s all the names given. Many people are intrigued by these creatures. When they on rare occasion have appeared to humans, even though told not to, the humans often fall to the ground in submission, knowing they are from God (Numbers 22:31). We are told they provide some level of protection (Psalm 91:11; Hebrews 1:14). And we know their presence is often invisible to us, but that does not mean they are not present (2 Kings 6:8-23).
In that last passage of scripture, we are told the story of Elisha and his servant. They are surrounded by the king of Syria’s army. Elisha tells his servant, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prays that God will allow the servant to see, and when God opens his eyes “Behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Oddly enough, when the Syrians attack, Elisha prays they will be blinded and they are. Not what you would have expected from the army of angels, but it illustrates that they work in whatever way is needed, not always with a military type attack. God showed compassion on the Syrians.
One thing we know is that the angels who rebelled against God have Hell waiting on them. It was created for them. Jesus said, “Then he (God) will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” (Matthew 25:41). Who is Jesus talking to here? Not the fallen angels, but to the goats (people) who he has separated from the sheep. Hell may be created for Satan and his fallen angels, but we get to go there with them if we don’t align ourselves with God through Christ in this life.
That brings us to the most amazing fact. As intrigued as we are with angels, they are intrigued with us too! Back to the I Peter passage at the top of the page, read that again. In fact, Jesus tells us that when a lost human is found (becomes a disciple of Jesus), “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) Don’t neglect a salvation that even makes the angels stand in awe!
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, thousands upon thousands… encircling the throne. In a loud voice they were saying, ‘Worthy is the lamb, who was slain…’” (Rev. 5:11-12)