Angels of God and evil spirits are plainly revealed in Scripture and interwoven with human history. Holy angels that “minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14) are regarded by many as spirits of the dead. But the Scriptures present proof that these are not disembodied spirits of the dead.
Before the creation of man, angels were in existence, for when the foundations of the earth were laid, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7. After the fall of man, angels were sent to guard the tree of life before a human being had died. Angels are superior to men, for man was made “a little lower than the angels.” Psalm 8:5.
Says the prophet, “I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne.” In the presence of the King of kings they wait—”ministers of his, that do his pleasure,” “hearkening unto the voice of his word,” “an innumerable company.” Revelation 5:11; Psalm 103:20, 21; Hebrews 12:22. As God’s messengers they go forth, like “the appearance of a flash of lightning,” so swift their flight. The angel that appeared at the Saviour’s tomb, his countenance “like lightning,” caused the keepers for fear of him to quake, and they “became as dead men.” When Sennacherib blasphemed God and threatened Israel, “the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand.” Ezekiel 1:14; Matthew 28:3, 4; 2 Kings 19:35.
Angels are sent on missions of mercy to the children of God. To Abraham, with promises of blessing; to Sodom, to rescue Lot from doom; to Elijah, about to perish in the desert; to Elisha, with chariots and horses of fire when he was shut in by his foes; to Daniel, while abandoned to become the lion’s prey; to Peter, doomed to death in Herod’s dungeon; to the prisoners at Philippi; to Paul in the night of tempest on the sea; to open the mind of Cornelius to receive the gospel; to dispatch Peter with the message of salvation to the Gentile stranger—thus holy angels have ministered to God’s people.