Celestial beings often shrouded in mystery, angels have captured the imagination of humans for centuries. Despite their frequent depiction in art and literature, they remain a mystery to most believers.
There are numerous lesser-known aspects about these spiritual entities, but because of God’s Word, we know that they indeed exist. Angels appear in both the Old and New Testaments and are mentioned directly or indirectly nearly 300 times, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association says.
Billy Graham once said of these celestial beings: “I believe in angels because the Bible says there are angels; and I believe the Bible to be the true word of God.”
Graham published a book in 1975 titled “Angels, God’s Secret Agents.” In the book, he says, “The empire of angels is as vast as God’s creation. If you believe in the Bible, you will believe in their ministry.”
But what do we really know about angels? Grace Digital Network, with over 1.6 million YouTube subscribers, presents a list of 10 intriguing facts about angels that might surprise you:
1. Spirit Beings: Contrary to popular artistic representations, angels are not winged beings dressed in white robes who sit on clouds. The Bible describes them as spiritual entities rather than physical beings, as mentioned in Hebrews 1:14.
2. Ministering Spirits: Angels are actively involved in various activities. Hebrews 1:14 highlights their mission as spirits sent by God to protect, serve and accompany those who will inherit salvation.
3. Answering Prayers: Angels can play a role in answering prayers, although they act according to God’s will. The story of Peter’s miraculous release from prison after the church’s prayers (Acts 12) is an example of angels responding to human supplication.
As he was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, in Matthew 26:53, said, “Do you think I cannot call on My Father and He will at one put at my disposal ore than 12 legions of angels?” But asking the Father for angels needs to be aligned with the Word of God and the will of God.
4. Invisible Presence: Most of the time, angels are invisible to human perception. Balaam’s experience in Numbers 22, where his donkey saw the angel while he remained oblivious, illustrates how angels usually go unnoticed in our ordinary activities.
5. Human Form: When angels interact with humans, they often assume a human-like appearance. Biblical accounts, such as the visitation of angels to Abraham (Gen. 18), highlight their ability to take on a human form.
6. Consuming Food: Angels, in their human form, can eat food. Genesis 18 narrates how Abraham prepared food for angelic visitors, underscoring their ability to consume food when appearing as humans.
7. Diverse Clothing: Angels, when appearing in human-like forms, are often depicted wearing bright and dazzling clothing. These garments symbolize the glory and holiness associated with their heavenly nature.
8. Angel Faces: The Bible notes instances when angels’ appearances were likened to those of humans, even having a face that radiated with divine presence. The martyr Stephen, for instance, was described to have had a face like that of an angel (Acts 6:15).
9. Wings and Forms: While the cherubim and seraphim are angelic creatures described as having wings, there’s limited biblical evidence that angels appearing to humans have wings. Many medieval artists’ popularized the concept of angels with wings.
10. Worship of God: Angels are often depicted praising and worshiping God in the Bible, emphasizing their role as beings in awe of the Almighty. The famous phrase “Holy, holy, holy” appears in both the Old Testament (Isa. 6:3) and the New Testament (Rev. 4:8), showcasing their reverence for God’s holiness. Though God in his infinite wisdom does not, a rule, permit angels to take on physical dimensions, people tend to venerate them in a fashion that borders on worship. But Romans 1:24-25 warns believers against worshipping the creature rather than the creator.
Angels remain a topic of fascination and curiosity today not only in Christian circles but secular circles as well. These 10 lesser-known facts shed light on the true nature and roles of angels described in the Bible.
Popular depictions may ignore scriptural truth about these entities, but their significance as messengers, servants and worshipers of God cannot be denied.
Have you entertained angels without realizing it? Read Jonathan Nixon’s Angel Stories.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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