What do angels look like? What do angels not look like? What does the Bible say are angel’s primary duty to humans?
What do angels look like?
Angels are not composed of physical matter but are spirit beings created by God (Heb. 1:14). They can resemble human form when God permits or wills it (Gen. 19). There are different orders or ranks of angels in heaven. Those that covered the throne in heaven were mighty seraphim angels. They had six wings that hovered over the throne of God. Two of the seraphim’s wings covered their faces because God is so holy that even the seraphim angels could not look upon God (Isaiah 6:2). Another set of wings covered their feet for they were in the midst of holy ground where God abided and Moses (Exodus 3:5) and Joshua (Joshua 5:15) had to remove their shoes while in the presence of God. Angels do have some human features like feet, voices, and faces (Isaiah 6:1-2).
Daniel 10:5-6 gives a vivid description of an angel that he saw: “I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, 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.” So Daniel describes an angel with a face like a lightning bolt, eyes like flaming torches of fire, arms and legs that gleam like polished chrome, and a voice like that of thunder. It is no wonder that those men who were keepers of Jesus’ tomb severely shook and fell down like dead men in terror at the sight of the angel present there because “His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow” (Matt. 28:4).
Angels are neither male nor female although they always appear as a man when they take human form. They are nonetheless too powerful for humans to resist as a mighty cherubim kept Adam and Even from entering back into the Garden of Eden because he also had a mighty, flaming sword (Gen. 3:24). Daniel, in his vision, saw that the number of angels could not be counted saying, “Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him…“(Dan 7:10).
What angels do not look like
Nowhere in the Bible are angels described like the pictures, paintings, or figurines of little baby cherub angels with wings that we so often see. Michael and Gabriel are archangels and they are anything but little and cute. They are powerful agents and messengers of God that are formidable in their own right. Angels are not effeminate looking and resembling beautiful women with wings. These are man made concoctions and do not come from the Bible. Even Satan, a fallen angel and a powerful one at that does not have horns and a pitchfork. He was perhaps the most beautiful and splendid angel ever created by God and of the highest order, but his pride caused his downfall and God caste him from heaven (Ezekiel chapter 14 and 28).
What does the Bible say are Angel’s Primary Duty To Humans?
Angels have a primary duty to man but more so for God. They are His messengers. They are His agents for bringing punishment and displaying His holy wrath. They will be used by God during the coming Great Tribulation as described in the book of Revelation (18:21). Even a king was not spared as he once boasted that “I am a god” and an angel apparently killed him on the spot (Acts 12:20-25).
Angels do serve a purpose for humans. Each one of us has at least one, maybe more, that are assigned to each and every one of us and one helped to strengthen Jesus (Luke 22:43). They’re commanded to “encamp all around us” and keep us from falling, getting hurt, who have been and will be “…from this time forth and forever to be with us”… and even strengthen us, and minister to us (Luke 22:43, Psalm 34:7, 91:10-13, 103:21). It’s possible that we might have encountered and entertained angels without even knowing it (Heb 13:1-2). Matthew 18:10 indicates that children have their own angels with the scriptures saying, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” The sheer numbers of holy angels disposed to fight for us is uncountable (Dan. 7:10, Heb 12:22).
Even when we die, angels may be the ones that carry our spirit into the presence of God as Lazarus was “carried by the angels (plural indicates there may be more than one assigned to us) into Abraham’s bosom” after he had died (Luke 16:22). So angels are nothing to be afraid of for the believer but a terror to be reckoned with in the day of God’s wrath, but today if you will hear His voice and believe in Jesus Christ, they will be your sovereign protector, dispatched by God Almighty. And when you are saved, the angels rejoice in heaven over you. I hope they can rejoice for you if you are not already saved. If you are, I rejoice too with them. Christians will someday meet their own angels, but more importantly, meet Jesus Christ and be with Him forever in eternal joy and happiness.
Angels are spiritual beings created by God. Sometimes God allows them to resemble humans and when they appear in a human form in the Bible, they are always a man even though angels are neither male of female. There are different ranks or classes of angels including the seraphim and the cherubim. The seraphim are described as having six wings that are very large. They have some human features, such as feet, voices and faces. Angels are God’s messengers as well as protectors of humans. As believers one day we will be with them in the Kingdom of Heaven.
– By Jack Wellman