Angels have been a part of popular culture for decades. When you think of angels, you probably think of the human-like beings with a halo, harp, and wings.
But what do angels truly like, according to the Bible?
Angels have been depicted in imaginative ways, but how can we separate fact from fiction?
To figure it out, we need to find out what the Bible says concerning angels.
Biblical facts about angels
1. Angels are God's creations
Angels are beings within the universe God created. They are the "host" or "armies" of heaven. Paul says that God created all things, visible and invisible. However, they are spirits that don't have human bodies. Angels cannot be seen by humans unless God reveals them. From time to time, they may be seen in a bodily form to appear to people in Scripture.
2. Three types of angels
The three types of angels are:
- Living creatures
Cherubims guard the entrance of the garden of Eden. God is enthroned above them.
Seraphim are mentioned once (Isaiah 6:2-7). They worship God by saying "Holy, holy, holy".
Living creatures dwell around God's throne. They appear like animals, such as lion, ox, or eagles. They represent the various parts of God's creations.
3. Rank among angels
Angels have a hierarchy. For example, Michael is an archangel, a title that means he is above other angels.
4. Two angels are named in the Bible
5. Angels have powers
Angels use their powers to combat Satan's forces. During our earthly days, we are lower than angels. But upon Jesus' return to earth, the followers of Christ will be raised higher than them (1 Corinthians 6:3)
What does the Bible say about angels?
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
10. Matthew 2:13 KJV
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
11. Job 38:7 KJV
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
13. 2 Kings 6:17 KJV
And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
14. Exodus 23:20 KJV
Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my Lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
16. Exodus 14:19 KJV
And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
17. Luke 20:35 KJV
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
18. Hebrews 1:13 KJV
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
19. Daniel 6:22 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.
Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
24. Isaiah 6:2 KJV
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
Then thine handmaid said, The word of my Lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my Lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee.
26. Daniel 12:1 KJV
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
28. Job 4:15-18 KJV
Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
30. Jude 1:6 KJV
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
31. Jude 1:9 KJV
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
32. Luke 20:36 KJV
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
33. 1 Peter 3:22 KJV
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
34. Luke 15:10 KJV
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
36. Matthew 1:20 KJV
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
37. Luke 1:30-31 KJV
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
38. Acts 12:23 KJV
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
40. Job 1:6 KJV
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
41. 2 Peter 2:4 KJV
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
42. Psalms 34:7 KJV
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
44. Hebrews 1:6 KJV
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
45. Psalms 104:4 KJV
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
47. Hebrews 1:14 KJV
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
48. Isaiah 63:9 KJV
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
50. Genesis 2:1 KJV
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
51. Psalms 91:11 KJV
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
52. Luke 1:19 KJV
And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
55. Matthew 4:11 KJV
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
56. Matthew 4:6 KJV
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
58. Matthew 28:3 KJV
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
59. Nehemiah 9:6 KJV
Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
60. Judges 13:6 KJV
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
61. Acts 1:10-11 KJV
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
64. Mark 1:13 KJV
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
65. Hebrews 2:2 KJV
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
68. Luke 1:11-20 KJV
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
69. Luke 16:22 KJV
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
70. Job 38:1-7 KJV
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
73. Hebrews 13:2 KJV
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
76. Mark 8:38 KJV
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
77. Psalms 8:5 KJV
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
78. Daniel 9:21 KJV
Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
81. Luke 1:26-38 KJV
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
83. Luke 1:26 KJV
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
85. Luke 2:10 KJV
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
87. Luke 4:10 KJV
For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
89. Psalms 68:17 KJV
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
90. John 20:12 KJV
And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
91. Luke 2:14 KJV
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
94. Acts 5:19 KJV
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
95. Luke 4:11 KJV
And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
96. Matthew 2:19 KJV
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
97. Daniel 7:10 KJV
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
99. John 1:51 KJV
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
101. Psalms 35:5 KJV
Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them.
102. Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
103. Luke 2:13 KJV
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
104. Acts 27:23 KJV
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
105. Genesis 3:24 KJV
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
107. Revelation 4:8 KJV
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls. And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents. And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold. And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold. And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward. And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
110. Acts 7:53 KJV
Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
111. Romans 8:38-39 KJV
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
112. 2 Samuel 24:16 KJV
And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
113. Revelation 14:6 KJV
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
114. Matthew 25:41 KJV
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
115. Revelation 22:8 KJV
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
116. Psalms 148:2 KJV
Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
117. 1 Peter 1:12 KJV
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Angels are a powerful component of God's creation. Though we cannot see them physically without God's discernment, we know they are in heaven worshiping and praising the Lord. They are angels numbering thousands upon thousands that are watching over us today. Take heart in God's army and give all praise to God's glory today.