14 Verses about Angels and What They Teach Us
In the heavens, God is served and worshipped by spiritual beings who are very different from humans, yet humanity often depicts them as large, winged versions of people. These beings are angels, which were created by God at some time before the earth was made. They act as messengers, heralds, and guardians, as defenders, and as worshippers of the one true God.
Since they have a role to play in God’s plan for eternity, they are mentioned in the Bible. Yet there is a great deal of mystery about them. While the Bible is not silent on angels, we are given glimpses that can teach believers today about angels, what exists beyond the veil, and the nature of God.
Here are 14 verses about angels, and the lessons these verses teach believers.
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1. Angels’ Creation
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements — surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-8).
In this verse, this translation uses the phrase “the sons of God” to refer to angels. Other translations use the word angels. Here, the Bible reveals the angels were created before the world, and they rejoiced and sang during Creation.
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot” (Psalm 91:11-13).
In this Psalm, the writer highlights that God has angels who guard individuals. Part of the purpose of the angels is to obey God’s commands to protect people during difficult times.
“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” (Isaiah 6:1-3).
This vision God gave the Prophet Isaiah introduces another kind of angel - seraphim. They appear to be shaped in a manner that is recognizable as somewhat human, but they have six wings. The role of these angels is to worship God at His throne.
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4. Unlike Anything on Earth
“... And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings…As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above… As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures…Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around…When they stood still, they let down their wings” (Ezekiel 1:4-25).
Just like the Prophet Isaiah, the Prophet Ezekiel was given visions of heaven, and the angelic beings he saw were not like anything people could imagine. They have multiple heads, forms that do not resemble living beings on earth, and demonstrate the power of God.
“Then he said to me, ‘Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come’” (Daniel 10:12-14).
The prophet Daniel had been praying to God for days, and the Lord sent a messenger angel. The angel gave Daniel – as well as people reading the Bible today – a glimpse of what goes on in the spiritual realm and what spiritual warfare looks like from God’s perspective. It is clear that Satan’s forces, in this case the principality over Persia, try to interfere with the work of angels. God will triumph in the end, but until then there is a lot going on behind the veil.
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6. Guardian Angels
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).
In a sermon, Jesus addressed many topics including the parable of the lost sheep, Biblical reconciliation, forgiveness, and temptation. Jesus also addresses children, and gives a glimpse into the role of angels. It does imply certain angels are assigned to a person, and can go to God the Father on their behalf.
7. Jesus’ Return
“ For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
While giving a warning about the dangers of rejecting Him and calling the disciples to be willing to endure hardship to follow Him, Jesus lets His followers know that when He returns in all His glory, the hosts of angels will come as well.
“Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:3a).
This verse is very mysterious. At some point either during the Millenium Kingdom or in eternity, (or possibly both) believers will be a part of judging angels. Whether this is a judgment of fallen angels, or discerning between issues brought by angels serving in the kingdom, believers will have a level of authority over angels. Considering the angels in heaven are holy, and humanity needed the blood of Jesus to even have a hope of being in the presence of God because of our sin, it is a humbling thought.
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9. Warning against Deceit
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Paul reminds us that Satan is a fallen angel, and therefore can make himself appear attractive to people to lead them astray. It is a dire warning not to be led astray by false doctrine, attractive ideas that contradict the Word of God, and to keep the focus on the Lord. Satan is a predator and a deceiver who once stood before the throne of God.
10. Jesus Is Supreme
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
In this letter to the Church at Colossae, Paul affirms that Jesus created all things, including the angels. This point is important because some cults and false doctrines claim angels are equal to Jesus, that Jesus was at some point was an angel Himself who was eventually elevated, or that Jesus was created at the same time or even after the angels.
11. Angel Interactions
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).
This verse seems to imply that, at certain points in history, angels may come to earth and interact with people. These kinds of interactions did occur in the Old Testament, such as when the angels went to warn Lot about the coming judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is debate among theologians if these interactions occur today.
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12. Mystery of Salvation
“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:10-12).
In this passage, Peter explains the wonder of the mystery of salvation, and how it is something people throughout history wanted to understand. Peter illuminates the fact that angels want to understand salvation, but do not. It demonstrates that God’s ways are higher than any other. It also shows the uniqueness of Jesus, and affirms the Triune nature of God. The Son and the Holy Spirit understand the Father’s will, but the angels do not, meaning they are not the same.
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment” (2 Peter 2:4).
Every human has sinned, and deserves God’s judgment and wrath, but He created a way for anyone to come to Him and be reconciled through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, Peter reveals that God did not allow such a thing for the angels that rebelled against Him. Instead, He created hell and the lake of fire to punish them for eternity.
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14. Angels Are Servants
“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God’” (Revelation 22:8-9).
After John receives the full Revelation about what will take place during the Last Days (the Millenium Reign, the Judgment) and receives a glimpse into what eternity will look like, He falls at the feet of the messenger angel and worships him. But the angel is clear. Angels are servants, and should not be worshipped or treated like they are on the same level as God. Some false doctrines pray to angels, and treat them like they are close in nature to God. The angels themselves do not see themselves that way.
One day, believers in Jesus Christ will meet the angels and have a greater understanding of their nature. When contemplating the mysteries of eternity and the spiritual, it can be tempting to focus on angels, to get carried away making assumptions about them, and elevate them to a status that borders on idolatry and false beliefs. Rather than emphasizing angels, Christians should accept what the Bible is clear about, and keep their eyes on the Lord, just like the angel encouraged the Apostle John.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2020.
Jeremiah, Dr. David, Angels, Who They Are, and How They Help, and What the Bible Says about Them. Colorado Springs, Multnomah Books, 2006.
Wilmington, H.L. Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1981.
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Bethany Verrett is a freelance writer who uses her passion for God, reading, and writing to glorify God. She and her husband have lived all over the country serving their Lord and Savior in ministry. She has a blog on graceandgrowing.com.