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Learning about Angels - Fun Angel Facts
Have you ever wanted to know more about angels? Who could blame you? Although not seen (except by especially blessed people) as much today as they were in days of old, these marvelous beings have been helping humanity since the very beginning.
Given how important angels are to our daily lives, you would think that everyone would know everything there is to know about them, and yet, great ignorance is quite common.
For example, most people just lump them all together with the general term "angel", but in fact, that's a grave mistake, for the Bible tells us that there are definite hierarchies of angels. These are (in order of importance) seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels and plain old ordinary angels. Satan was a seraphim, by the way and it was cherubim who guarded the Garden of Eden against any men who wanted to sneak back in.
Amazingly high percentages of Americans not only believe in angels, but have had personal experience of them. This article says the figure is 55%, which means that if you live in or can visit America, it should be easy to find someone who has literally been "touched by an angel".
A missed opportunity to see an angel up close and personal
If only those cherubim had not abandoned their posts at the Garden of Eden, any of us could at least see angels even today, but unfortunately, they are obviously gone. Possibly the garden became over run with snakes and God saw no point in setting out guards any longer, especially as cherubim are right up there in terms of power and influence and were likely needed back at Heaven for more important duties.
Paul didn't like angels
It's true. Colossians 1:16 sets us straight:
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
If you didn't know about the hierarchies of angels, you might not realize Paul was speaking against their worship. However, he makes that quite plain later in Colossians 2:18:
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.
Oops. I guess Paul might not have wanted to hear about angel sightings. He seems to be saying these people are unspiritual, doesn't he?
Paul's gripe was that the Colossians were being influenced by Gnosticism and that tended to diminish the importance of Paul's pal Jesus. That's what got Paul all riled up about angel worship.
Praying to angels?
This is a subject that has a good deal of disagreement surrounding it. Some say that praying to angels goes against God but others think that's an obvious place to seek favors.
I'd say you had better be pretty darn sure who you are praying too, because not all angels are good. You remember Satan, right? One third of the heavenly host went with him, so there are plenty of former angelic beings now playing for the other team.
You definitely don't want to be worshipping angels. We have that advice straight from a horses mouth, so to speak (Revelation 22:8-9):
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.
Angelic Free will and its implications
Angels are described as "messengers of God", which would seem to be a rather subservient role, but Satan and his pals couldn't have gone off on their own thing without having free will, could they?
That should make you wonder about the whole "good/bad" dichotomy. If there were angels who stayed with God and those who sided with Satan, surely there were those of divided mind.
Some may have sympathized with Satan but noted that the majority vote seemed to be with God and opted for safety in numbers. People are like that; why not angels?
Others may have deliberately stayed behind as double agents. You wouldn't want to have one of those as your guardian angel, would you?
Guardian Angels and starers
Guardian angels do wonderful things for good little Christian children. We have tales of nasty falls broken by invisible hands and other angelic interventions.
But we apparently also have more playful angels. This touching tale describes an angel appearing sitting in a woman's car, and then fading from view after fixing her with its gaze.
We assume that the woman who saw this did what any rational person would have done and drove directly to a hospital to have them check for brain tumors, aneurisms or anything else that might have caused such visions. If none were apparent, and she wasn't suffering psychological stress ("This happened in 1998 the year I had the most challenge"), obviously this was another of her "many encounters with angels".
What was this angel up to? Did it intend to steal her car and, embarrassed by being caught in the act, decided to disappear? We'll never know.
Things certainly have changed, haven't they? In olden days, angels were enforcers of religious thought (Acts 12:23):
Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
We don't get much of that "striking down" today. Angels seem to have adopted a more "live and let live" policy, even toward atheists, pagans and other false beliefs.
How many angels are there, anyway?
The "angels dancing on the head of a pin" was apparently just somebody making a caustic comment about some wooly headed academic types, but the quantity of these higher order being should be a matter of some concern. Revelations tells us that the number is ten thousand times ten thousand, which is 100 million.
That may have been plenty enough for Medieval Europe, when we estimate 50 to 70 million people were milling about in need of Heavenly assistance. But what about today, with far more needy souls about?
Let's hope God has created more angels, because 100 million really seems like a seller's market to me!
We have always known that angels can appear with and without wings. It is not known whether they make them invisible, absorb them, or tuck them away under loose fitting clothing.
It's quite possible that the wings are simply a fashion accessory, as silly as codpieces, stovepipe hats and balloon skirts. Perhaps wings have fallen out of style as our world has become more crowded and the angels find themselves having to do more work indoors. Wings could be terribly inconvenient when walking about a store that displayed expensive and valuable glass objects, for example.
Although angelic intervention is still very common today, evil secular forces work to cover up any evidence that people try to get out to the world.
Take the obvious spiritual beings that show up in digital photographs: some evil anti-supernatural nay-sayers try to attribute these to dust, but smart people know better. It's the same with angels.
The final word
I hope that if you were one who came here not knowing much about angels, you will continue your research on the Web. There are marvelous tales about angels to be found - some contradictory, of course, but the true student of religion should never be swayed by that. Logic simply has no place when talking about angels, so don't let any of that ever bother you. If something doesn't make sense, just ignore it - it's easier than thinking about it and the dangerous part of thinking is that you might end up deciding that it is all silly nonsense.
And that, my friend, will make imaginary angels shed imaginary tears.