People have always been fascinated with angels. National polls reveal that 70 percent of American adults believe in angels. Time Magazine estimates that 46 percent of Americans believe they have a guardian angel and 32 percent believe they have felt an angelic presence in their lives. And that begs the question: what does the Bible actually reveal to us about angels?

1. Their Creation

Angels have not always existed. There is a point in time when they were created by God (Colossians 1:16).

When did this occur? In Job 38:4,7, God asked Job a question: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation…When the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
The angels were there certainly by the third day of creation to see the formation of the earth. I believe they were created much earlier than that.

How many angels were created? Hebrews 12:22 speaks of thousands upon thousands. Psalm 68:17 speaks of tens of thousands and thousands of thousands. You find the same expression in Daniel’s vision of Babylon recorded in Daniel 7:10.

In Revelation 5:11, John says he looked and saw many angels numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands. That is what the Greek word “myriad” means. We are talking about hundreds of millions of angels.

Interestingly, the number of angels has apparently never changed. No angels ever die, though a large number of them chose to follow Satan when, as God’s chief angel, he was cast from heaven.

Angels are spirit beings and they will exist for eternity. Some praising God around the throne in heaven and others suffering eternally in the lake of fire. But they exist forever (Luke 20:34-37). The number of angels never decreases nor does it increase.

Angels do not reproduce. That is why they are sometimes referred to in scripture as “sons of God.” They are a direct creation of God.

By the way, never tell your children that when they die they become angels. No, they become much better than the angels. The become ruler over the angels.

2. Their Personality

Angels have personalities. What do I mean?

Angels have an intellect.

In some ways, their intellect exceeds ours because they have been around longer. Ezekiel 28:17 tells us that Satan, God’s chief angel, was corrupted by the wisdom that he possessed.

According to Rev. 10 and 17 they know something of God’s future. Even the fallen angels – demons – know that Jesus is the Son of God according to Mark 1:24, 34. That truth should remind you that belief that Jesus is the son of God is not enough to save you. You must not only believe intellectually but believe experientially. You must trust in Him personally.

Yet, they are also limited in their intellect. They don’t know the time of Christ’s return, and they don’t fully understand God’s motivation nor His ability to redeem mankind. 1 Peter 1:11-12 tells us that they long to understand the mystery of salvation.

By the way, did you know that one reason God sent His Son to save us was to prove to the 
angels what a loving and forgiving God He is? According to Ephesians 2:7 and 3:10 we are Exhibit A to all of God’s other creation of His compassion and forgiveness.

Angels have emotion.

Job 38:7 says they express joy. Isaiah 6:3 says they worship. Luke 15:10 says they rejoice when someone walks down this aisle to trust in Christ.

Angels have a will.

They are able to determine and follow a course of action. Lucifer chose to disobey God in his five “I wills” of Isaiah 14. A large group of the angels chose to go with him. Some believe that Revelation 12:4 is a reference to a third of the angels following Lucifer whom we know as Satan. And a larger number chose to remain. Apparently both choices were irreversible – no elect angels will ever fall and no fallen angels will ever be redeemed.

C. Their Appearance

Angels are spirit beings according to Hebrews 1:14, but just because something is a spirit does not mean it is not real. There are all kinds of realities in the universe like electricity, genes, chromosomes, germs that are invisible to the naked eye, but are nevertheless real.

Although angels do not possess bodies, they still have some of the limitations of human bodies, especially in regard to time and space.

Daniel 9:21-23 speaks of angels moving quickly from one place to another. Daniel 10 speaks of an angel being delayed by another spirit.

From these references we can deduce that unlike God, angels are not omnipresent, that is they are not every place at once or even more than one place at once. They are localized.

Their location is probably determined by their rank and duty (Ephesians 6:12). Apparently, some angels have responsibilities for specific countries – Michael the archangel is the defender of Israel.

Angels do at times become visible, according to the will of God. Sometimes they can appear as men as they did to Abraham in Geneses 18. In referring to that event, the writer of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 13:2 that we should be careful to show hospitality to strangers, because we could in fact be dealing with angels.

Other times their appearance is so startling that it causes great fear as it did to the soldiers who were guarding Jesus tomb when the angel came and rolled it away or when the angel appeared to the shepherds in the field.

The strong angel described in Revelation 10 was so large that he placed one foot on the sea and the other on a continent (Rev. 10:2). That is on big angel!

But I believe one reason the Bible records the appearances of angels is not because it is the rule, but the exception to the rule. Angels, for the most part, remain invisible.

But as powerful and wonderful as angels are, they are inferior in position and power to Jesus Christ. He possesses a superior name, He is a superior object of worship, He rules over a superior kingdom, and He will one day enjoy a superior Victory.