Angels are real, heavenly beings that serve an essential role in a Christian’s life, but they are not more important than God. Just like us, God created these celestial beings. They dwell with God, but they are not part of our triune God and should not be worshiped. The author of Hebrews warns us against such practices. Let’s look at the 5 purposes of angels
4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?
Just as we worship God, so do the angels. Sometimes, I see a meme showing a guardian angel watching over a person. These cute little saying might lead us to forget that God ordered them to protect us. These beings cannot do it on their own. So, what purpose do angels serve in the kingdom of God?
5 Purposes of Angels
The word angel comes from the Hebrew word mal’ak and means messenger, which gives us a clue into one purpose. God created the angels, and they exist to serve His purposes. The Bible tells many stories about angels. And from these stories and the meaning of the word angel, we find five purposes for angels.
- Angels deliver messages from God to His people. We find the following examples in the Bible: an angel told Mary about the baby Jesus in Luke 1:28. A host of angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in Luke 2:9.
- Angels help protect us at God’s direction. The Bible examples for this include when an angel protects Daniel in the lion’s den in Daniel 6:27. Or when an angel protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:26.
- They guide us to follow the right path in life. We see this in demonstrated in Exodus 23:20.
- They are harbingers of God’s vengeance. One story shows how King Hezekiah asks God for help with his enemies. An army of angels destroyed the Assyrian army in 2 Kings 19:35.
- These beings worship and praise God. They never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” as referenced in Revelation 4:8.
Types of Angels
Now that we know their purpose, let’s explore the various types of angels mentioned in the Bible. Unlike myths and fairytales, angels are not cute and cuddly. Often, when they appear, their first words are phrases like, “Do not be afraid.” They wield the power of Christ at His command. They form the armies of God, and in the last days, I believe they will be a terrifying sight for the unbeliever.
- Archangels. Their name means chief angel, so they are the highest-ranking. God gives them the highest-profile duties to carry out on His behalf. We find the names of two of these angels mentions in the Bible, Michael, and Gabriel. Other ancient text says more, but only these two appear in our Bible.
- Cherubim. Many people think of these little guys as fat and chubby like those depicted in Victorian art. For a more accurate description, read Ezekiel 1:4-14. In scripture, they are the ones to guard things like the Garden of Eden or the tabernacle.
- Seraphim. These angels spend their time around the throne of God. Strong’s Concordance describes them as 6 winged, burning with an all-consuming fire. The Bible offers a more detailed description in Isaiah 6:1-8.
- The four beasts. These might be the same angels as the Seraphim, but they are listed separated in the Bible. They, too, spend their time worshipping God day and night. They get their own mention in Revelation 4:6-9.
- Angels. This category encompasses the times that the generic term angel is used in the Bible. We find the best example for these angels in Hebrews 13:2. This verse also reminds us that angels are all around.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
We looked at the 5 purposes of angels play in our faith. But, they should not be part of our worship. And, contrary to the beliefs of some, we don’t become angels when we die. While here on earth, we are lower than the angels as mentioned in Hebrews 2:7; “You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor.” But once we ascend to our heavenly home, we will be raised as sons and daughters of Christ, which puts us above the angels. The Bible says the following in 1 Corinthians 6:3; “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!”
Remember that angels will help us and guide us during our lifetime at the request of God. Some of us might have entertained angels without knowing it. Do you think you ever experienced an angel? If so, I would love to hear about it. Along with these types of angels, some angels belong to Satan. Those types were not included in this study.
Lord, Jesus. Thank you for sending your angels to guard us, protect us, and guide us. When life gets difficult, let your presence through them. I am amazed by the ways you love me and provide for me. May I never forget your love. In Jesus’ most Holy Name. Amen.
Yvonne M. Morgan is an author, blogger, and speaker.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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Used with permission from Yvonne M. Morgan.