In this piece over at Renew America, Marsha West examines the Bible’s teaching on angels and demons. She writes:
Angels fascinate people. For years we’ve been inundated with books, calendars, stationery, folklore, jewelry, knickknacks, lunch boxes, tattoos, even cherubic trash containers. People can’t get enough of angels! Stories of angelic encounters abound on the Internet. You ask, “Do you have a problem with angels?” Well, yes. And herein lies the problem. The messengers are not necessarily “angels of light” as people have been led to believe. Many angel enthusiasts have actually met heavenly visitors from the dark side. Even self-professed Christians are deceived. How can this be? Shouldn’t Christians be able to discern what’s real and what’s counterfeit? Not necessarily. Biblically illiterate Christians are easy to fool.
ANGELS OF LIGHT, ANGELS OF DARKNESS
Two elect holy angels are mentioned by name in the Bible: Michael and Gabriel. Also mentioned is the Angel of the Lord, the archangel (Michael), the Captain of the Host, messengers (Gabriel appeared to Mary), guardians. The fallen angels mentioned are the angel of the Abyss (Destroyer), and of course the most notorious angel of all: Lucifer. Scripture tells us very little about angels, except that they are sent to do God’s bidding. Most people know the story of the angel of the Lord who appeared to Mary and announced that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Savior. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, ‘God with us'” (Matthew 1:23).
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT ANGELS?
Angels are personal spiritual beings, having aspects of intelligence, emotions, and will. This is true of both the good and evil angels. Angels possess intelligence (Matthew 8:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Peter 1:12), show emotions (Luke 2:13; James 2:19; Revelation 12:17), and demonstrate that they have wills (Luke 8:28-31: 2 Timothy 2:26; Jude 6). Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14), with no true physical body. The fact that they do not have bodies does not affect their being personalities (any more than it does with God).
Because angels are personal spiritual beings they cannot be in two places at once. That includes Satan. He’s powerful, but his powers are limited. It’s impossible for him to be in Washington D.C. and Iran at the same moment in time. Give this some serious thought the next time you take it upon yourself to command “Satan” to leave.
Scripture tells us that angels are created beings, thus they have not existed for all eternity. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col 1:16-17).
According to Hebrews 13:2 angels can take on the appearance of humans. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” They always appear as men. Daniel sees an angel with very strange features. “I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude” (Dan. 10:5-6). It’s surprising that Daniel didn’t keel over from heart failure.