From the beginning of the Old Testament history to its end – from Abraham to Daniel angel appearances tend to coincide with God’s revelation and rescue. So when angels burst onto the scene in Luke and Matthew, we know from the past Scriptures that God is up to something big, something miraculous and merciful.
In popular culture we have made angels have wings, halos, robes, and harps. They are seen flying to the rescue of humans in crisis and singing the praises of God. But what does the Bible say about the appearance of angels?
When angels are revealed to humans their appearances vary. On some occasions angels appear as normal males in a human body. This occurred with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18. In Hebrews 13:2 it makes references to entertaining angels without knowing it.
Every reference to angels in Scripture is in masculine gender. Hebrews 1:14 tells us that angels are spirit beings therefore assigning them a gender is pointless. But Scripture depicts angels as if they are male.
Some angelic appearances reveal a startling being. Angels ate found says “Do not be afraid,” to calm those to whom they appeared in Luke 1:11-13. In Luke 2 the shepherds saw angels singing to announce the birth of Jesus and they were afraid. The appearance of the angels at the tomb of Jesus caused Roman soldiers to become like dead men (Matthew 28:4).
On some occasions, angels are mentioned to have wings. This is true of the images of the cherub Moses was commanded to have made upon the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:20) as well as the seraphim in Isaiah 6 and the creatures who appeared to Ezekiel.
One of the most detailed descriptions of what angels look like is given by Daniel in Daniel 10 5-6: “ I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl (like precious stone), his face like the appearance of lightening, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.
In general, angels do not have an essential physical form; the are spirits as described in Hebrews 1:14; “Ate they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Angels can clearly communicate in the language of those they serve as they share spoken messages in many situations. They even sang to the shepherds in Luke 2:13-14.
While we are not told exactly when angels were created, it is clear it took place before the creation of the earth. Job 38:4-7 states their creation was prior to the creation of the earth. The angels were created by Jesus (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).
People do not become angels after death and angels do not become human. They ate as different from us as we are from animals. Angels are intelligent emotional beings and each has an individual personality.
Here are some Scriptures to reference to read about them:
- Matthew 8: 29
- 2 Corinthians 11:3
- 1 Peter 1:12
- Luke 2:13
- James 2:19
- Revelation 12:17
- Luke 8:28-31
- Timothy 2:26
- Jude 6
Both good and evil angels are created being, they do not have limitless knowledge (Matthew 24:36. They cannot be everywhere at once, and they are not as powerful as God. Satan is still an angel and he not nowhere near as powerful as God. However, angels are much more powerful than human beings and they possess greater knowledge. Angels understand the Bible and the world, and they believe in the prophecies of God (James 2:19; Revelation 12:12). Even the fallen angels who hate God are not atheists; they know that God exists. Angels also understand humanity very well. They do not have to study the past, they have experienced it. There are a limited number of angels and they cannot reproduce. The angels created at the beginning of time are still with God, and the demons (evil angels) that at the beginning are still fallen.
This is just what I learned doing a complete Bible study on angels.