Humans and Angels
How do we relate to angels?
What is the relationship between humans and angels? Do we become angels when we die? Should angels be worshipped?
Do we become angels when we die?
This is a common belief often mentioned in cartoons and popular culture. There is no indication in the Bible we become angels. However it does give plenty of reasons to believe we don't become angels.
The earth was formed on the first day of creation, and angels were around when the foundation of the earth was formed(Job 38:4-7). Man was created on the 6th day, after the creation of the earth(Gen. 1:26-31). Angels were around before people.
After Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden, God placed Cherubim, angels, to guard the way to the tree of life(Gen. 3:24). This passage is the first time angels are mentioned in the Bible and all occurred before the first person died. If angels were originally people who died, how could these Cherubim have existed?
Angels and humans are also different in form. Angels are spirits(Heb. 1:14) while we are physical beings and will have physical resurrected bodies. Jesus is described as being lower than angels when taking on human form on Earth(Heb. 2:9).
Although we are lower than angels at the moment, we won't always be. We will judge angels in eternity(1 Cor. 6:3). In order to do that we would have to be higher than them.
Should angels be worshipped?
We should definitely not worship angels, and they don't need to be worshipped. The law given to the Israelites says to worship the one true God(Deu. 6:13). Worshipping angels violates the first commandment about worshipping only God(Exo. 20:3). In addition, Jesus said to worship God alone(Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8).
When an angel appeared to the apostle John, John initially bowed down and worshipped him(Rev. 22:8-9). The angel said not to do that and worship God only. He also said he was a fellow servant of God, displaying humility and no need for worship.
Is talking to an angel alright? Something we should consider is angels can only be in one place at a time(Dan. 10:13), but God is everywhere(Psa. 139:7-10). The Bible doesn't say we should talk to angels, but there's no need to as God is the one we need to talk to.
Can we summon angels?
Do we have the power to summon angels? There is no passage in the Bible that says someone summoned or commanded an angel nor is there any hint we can do this. In all instances angels were sent to help people, the angels were sent by God(Num. 20:16; Dan. 3:28; Acts 12:11). Again there is no need for us to have this ability anyway as we have access to God, who is far more powerful than any angel. God will send an angel to us if needed.
Although angels are described as being mighty(2 The. 1:7; 2 Pet. 2:11) and more powerful than we are(Psa. 8:5), we should not be envious of them. They don't know everything, like when the end of times will be(Mark 13:32). We are made in the image of God(Gen. 1:26-27). The Bible doesn't say whether angels are.
Because they are in the direct presence of God, angels have no excuse for sinning. God did not spare angels that sinned but cast them to Hell and chained them(2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). Unlike us, angels have no chance for redemption after sinning.
Angels are aware of joy of redemption as the Bible mentions rejoicing in the presence of them when a sinner repents(Luke 15:10). Unlike us, they cannot experience the Gospel. They desire to look into the Gospel, but they cannot experience it(1 Pet. 1:12). We are unique in that aspect.
Last updated 10/21/2011