Angels are God’s servants and messengers in the heavenly and spiritual realm, where they find true satisfaction in the unceasing worship and service of God. They were created before humans, they belong to a higher order than humans, and their number is countless (Ps 103:20; 148:2; Isa. 6:2-3; Dan 7:10; Luke 12:8-9; 15:10; Col 1:16; Heb 12:22; Rev 4:8; 5:11-12; 7:11).
Good and bad angels
At some time before the creation of humans, some of the angels, under the leadership of one who became known as Satan, rebelled against God and so fell from their original sinless state (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). As a result there are good angels and evil angels. Christ has angels and so has Satan (Job 4:18; Matt 25:31,41; Jude 9; Rev 12:7-9).
Both good and bad angels are under God’s sovereign rule, the difference between them being that the good angels are obedient and the evil angels rebellious. Even the chief of the evil angels, Satan, is no more than a created being under the authority of God. Satan and the evil angels who follow him can do their evil work only within the limits that God allows (Job 1:12; 2:6; see SATAN).
Because of the high position that angels have as God’s heavenly servants, the Bible speaks of them as holy ones, as stars, and even as sons of God. Again these expressions may apply to good angels and bad angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 5:1; 15:15; 38:7; Ps 89:5,7; Rev 9:1; 12:3-4,9). (The remainder of this article will be concerned only with good angels. For further discussion on evil angels see DEMONS.)