3 More Truths about Angels
When I was young, I heard many stories about angels. I remember a lady in my church describing a visit she had received from one. During a life crisis, the angelic being appeared to encourage her that everything was going to be okay. I was mesmerized and terrified. To this day, I am certain that my response would be similar to that of Daniel. When the archangel Gabriel appeared to him, he “was terrified and fell facedown” (Daniel 8:17). Much talk about angels is misguided. While we can’t know everything there is to know about them, there are some things we can know. Consider a few Bible truths.
Angels were created before creation.
Prior to Genesis 1:1, God made the angelic realm. He created it to give Him worship and to serve His purposes. Angels existed before earth and before humankind. The Bible speaks of the way in which God made them in Colossians 1:16. In Ezekiel’s prophecy, the Lord compared the King of Tyre to Lucifer, the cherubim who eventually became the Devil. He made mention of the way in which the Devil was created (28:15), and He talked about how Lucifer was placed in “Eden, the garden of God” (28:13). The book of Job describes the way in which “the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” before the creation of man (Job 38:7). Angelic beings point to the fact that the Lord is Creator God. All things have been made by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). He is a magnificent God and we have been made for His glory!
Humans can’t become angels.
I once had an elderly lady describe how she longed for the afterlife. She was weary of battling sickness and pain. She said she couldn’t wait to get her “halo and wings.” Somehow, she had gained the impression that eternal life involves a metamorphosis from human to angelic. Such thinking is popular amongst many Christians. Perhaps it is based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 22:30. In that passage, Jesus said that humans will be like angels when they get to heaven. The word “like” is an important word. It is a simile which indicates that humans won’t be angels, they will merely resemble them. Jesus’ teaching was meant to show that humans will not marry or have spouses in the eternal state. He didn’t mean to say that we will become a part of the angelic armies. Our inheritance involves a transformation of our bodies whereby we will become sinless. We will receive a resurrected body similar to the one which Jesus possessed and we will live forever in God’s presence (1 Corinthians 15:50-58 and 1 John 3:1-2).
We will rule over angels in the afterlife.
When writing to the church at Corinth, Paul confronted believers who were taking each other to court over petty disputes. He argued that such conflict was unbecoming of Christ and the church. In presenting his case, he said something rather strange. He argued with the Corinthians — “Don’t you know that we will judge angels — how much more matters of this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:3). I’m not going to pretend that I fully understand what Paul’s words mean. However, it seems that we will see, know, and oversee angels during the eternal state. Heaven is going to be remarkable! We have a lot to which we can look forward!
Dr. Patrick Latham