Angelic beings: what are they like?


image via howstuffworks

From a young age I was told stories of angels, creatures with wings that fought to protect me against evil spirits in my sleep. I did not know much about these beings other than their ability to fly. However, the little knowledge I had comforted me during my slumber.


 It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I realized how very little I knew about these powerful creatures. Although I had access to multiple sources (the Bible, the internet, etc), not once did I attempt to know more about angels past their wings and glowing appearances.


So, considering I have a web article due and no other prominent thoughts to guide me, I’ve decided now is as good a time as ever to learn more about angels.


First of all, angels were created by God; they weren’t there from the beginning. These beings are invisible to us unless God wishes us to see them. Recall the story of Gabriel, who appeared to Mary and informed her she was to bear the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38). They are not omnipresent as God is and are limited to one place at a time. 


There are four kinds of angels. Cherubim stood guard at the entrance of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24). They appear to have the likeness of a man but with four faces and wings. The soles of their feet are the color of brass and resemble those of a calf’s. Under their wings are human hands. Two of these wings are joined together, while two cover their body. Their four faces are that of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. Bright in appearance, cherubim are also referred to as cherub and move as quick as lightning. (Ezekiel 1:5-14)


Seraphim are only mentioned once in the Bible (Isaiah 6:2-7). They showcase six wings: two covering their faces, two covering their feet and two utilized for flying. With their loud and powerful voices they call to one another: “Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 2:3).


“Living creatures,” mentioned in Revelation 4:6-8, are four creatures covered completely with eyes and boast six wings each. The first is like a lion, the second like an ox, the third like a man and the fourth like a flying eagle. Day and night without pause, they proclaim “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).


Lastly, archangels are the most powerful of all, as the Greek root “arch” means “rule”. Michael is depicted as a warrior and is referred to as “one of the chief princes” (Daniel 10:13). In Revelation 12:7-8, he appears to lead God’s angelic army. Gabriel (mentioned earlier) seems to be a messenger angel but not much else is known about him. These are the only two angels named throughout the whole Bible.


God’s inclusion of angelic beings in the Bible was no doubt purposefully done, as with the rest of Scripture. In contrast with my initial vague image of angels, this new depiction has left me with more questions I can only hope to answer when I view them myself.