By Published On: 23rd February, 2024Categories: Spiritual Beings0 Comments on Spiritual Beings 2 – Angels & Demons771 words3.9 min read


Naked cherubs, wings, halos, and cute pupils in kindergarten performing in the Christmas play are some of the images that come to mind when we think about angels. But God’s Word gives us an entirely different picture. Hebrews 1:7 says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” Angels are spirits created to serve God’s purposes.

The term angel, which derives from the Greek word angelos, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word mal’akh, meaning messenger (Encyclopedia Britannica).  It’s applied in scripture to an order of heavenly beings or human messengers who deliver messages from God to people.  They can be called ‘holy ones’ (Ps. 89:5,7), ‘watchers’ (Daniel 4:13,17,23), ‘guardians’ (2 kings 10:5) and collectively ‘council’ (Ps. 89:7), ‘congregation’ (Ps. 82:1) and finally ‘host(s)’ as in the phrase “The God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16).

In Christian theology we find an order of heavenly beings, a hierarchy based on the mandate each individual angel has been given. We can read about “Seraphim” (Is 6:2 portrays seraphims as 6-winged creatures), and “Cherubim” are the most frequently occurring heavenly creatures in the Hebrew bible. The first occurrence is in the book of Genesis 3:24 “Cherubim was stationed east of the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life”.  We find images on the mercy seat and on the curtains in the tabernacle (Ex. 25) as well as in Solomon’s temple, in Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ez 10) and also in Ez 28:14 where Lucifer is mentioned as a guardian cherub, before wickedness was found in him.

Archangels.  The English word “Archangel” is derived from Greek ἀρχάγγελος (arkhángelos) the Greek prefix “arch-” meaning “chief”.  The Archangel Gabriel appeared to at least 3 people in the Bible: he interpreted a vision for Daniel (Dan.8:16), told Zechariah about the birth of his son John the Baptist (Luke 1:19) and proclaimed to Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:26).  Archangel Michael was/is assigned over the nation of Israel according to Daniel 12:1, and  is mentioned Rev. 12:7-12 where he does battle with satan.  We can’t, in the same way, talk about a specific assignment for every individual.  But we do believe there is a place for angels guarding over people as Ps. 91:11 states: “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways”.
Throughout other literature, other archangels are mentioned: Uriel, the angel of prophecy and wisdom (found in Second book of Esdras, which is found in the Biblical Apocrypha), and Raphael, the healer and protector of travellers (found in 1 Enoch, book of Tobit).

Other mentions of angels in the bible: Angel of the Lord in the Hebrew language: מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה mal’āḵ YHWH “messenger of Yahweh”. We find this approximately 65 times in the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Judges et al. The New Testament uses the term Angel of the Lord (ἄγγελος Κυρίου) several times, in one instance (Luke 1:11–19) the angel’s name is Gabriel.  A closely related term is ‘Angel of God’ (mal’akh Elohim), mentioned 12 times (2 of which are plural). Another related expression, ‘Angel of the Presence’ occurs only once (Isaiah 63:9).

As well as the above mentioned angels, we can read about “Common Angels”  in the bible. Luke 2: 13 (NASB), “suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God”.  In Ephesians 6:12 and Jude 1:9 we see that the  purpose of angels is to fight the forces of spiritual darkness who try to thwart God’s plans. Angels are not all radiance and joy, but also execute judgement, as when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt and God sent an angel to strike down every firstborn son (Exodus 12:12 & 23). Angels were involved in the death of Herod (Acts 12:23), the slaughter of the Assyrian army (2 Kings 19:35), and the punishment of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 21:15). The book of Revelation foretells many angelic acts that will bring about the ultimate destruction of the world as we know it (Revelation 7:1; 8—10). In Revelation 19 we read about an army of heaven coming against the beast who made war against the rider on the white horse (Jesus).  


Let’s have a closer look at the angels who are malevolent (malicious, spiteful, hostile, evil-minded, evil-intentioned). Those viewed as malevolent are termed as demons in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and are believed to be the ⅓ that followed satan.  In other traditions, such as Roman mythology, they could be benevolent in some circumstances or malevolent in others. Can malevolent demons be experienced as benevolent, thus leading a person to their doom while enjoying the journey? Consider the Norse god Loki (The Trickster), or the Roman Bacchus (wine and revelry). Therefore, it was imperative that as long as the people appeased the spirits or gods they were ok-ish.

Leave A Comment