From Genesis to Revelation, we read that angels were busy at work. Some were mighty warriors; others were messengers, appearing to people to pronounce warnings or to announce births. Angels are divided into two main groups. There are good angels who are loyal to God and help people. There are evil angels who rebelled against God and tempt people to do wrong things. The Bible explains that these “fallen angels” cause torment, pain, and wickedness on the earth. The Bible shows how the good angels are sent by God to guide people, guard them from danger, and help them in times of need.
Gabriel, the messenger, appears in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. He is known for bearing good news of Jesus’ coming birth, but his first biblical appearance is in Daniel 8:16, when he is told to explain a vision to the prophet. Gabriel appeared to Daniel while he was living in Babylon and helped him understand visions he had. In Luke 1:13, we read where Gabriel was sent to Zechariah with the message that he would have a special child. This child grew up to be John the Baptist.
In Luke 1: 26-38 (KJV) we read the story of how the angel Gabriel was sent to tell Mary that she would have a baby even though she was not yet married. Her son would be named Jesus, who was the promised Messiah.
Luke 1: 31 “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus.”
Angels in the Bible were also encouragers. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he was crucified, he was in extreme anguish. He was getting ready to take the punishment for the whole world’s sins. In Luke 22:43, the Bible says an angel appeared to Jesus in the garden and strengthened him.
(KJV) “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”
Michael is one of the most important angels mentioned in the Bible. He is an archangel, who reigns as the leader of all God’s holy angels. In Revelation 12:7-10, the Bible tells the story of how Michael and the angels he supervised defeated Satan and the rebellious angels, also known as demons.
Revelation 12:7-10 (KJV)
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
When Daniel was in the Lions’ Den, he had faith in God and refused to worship any other gods. Because of his faith in God, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions. In Daniel 6:22, we read where God sent his angel to shut the mouths of the lions and the next morning, Daniel was lifted out of the den, safe from harm.
(KJV) “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”
While in exile in Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel saw many visions of angels. In the first chapter of Ezekiel, he described what he saw. One type of angel, called seraphim, looked like a person, but has four faces. It had the face of a person, the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle. These angels also had four wings. Under their wings, they had human hands. Many artists have tried to draw angels based on the description Ezekiel gave.
When the Israelites built the tabernacle, they decorated some of the curtains with pictures of cherubim (angels with wings). Years later King Solomon carved the doors and the walls of the temple with figures of cherubim.
Read Revelation 14 to learn more about those mysterious messengers, we know as angels.