Can we deduce facts about angels, given the variation in beliefs about divine entities?
Angels are often viewed as being extensions of a divine being, used for errands such as bringing messages, and fulfilling tasks of the deity. Religions vary, and so do the traditional teachings regarding angels, their duties, and whether or not they have free will. Some religions teach that angels can only do what the supreme being instructs them to do. Appearances of angels vary as well, but most depictions and descriptions of angels are human in form.
Voltaire once said, "It is not known precisely where angels dwell - whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode." And so, much mystery and superstition has been created concerning angels. Angels are primarily found within Judaic, Christian, and Muslim beliefs, though ancient cultures also had beliefs in angels (for more on this, read: History of Angels). Christianity teaches that angels live in heaven, spirit beings created by God to not only serve Him, but to also serve humans by bringing protection, messages, and battling evil. Angels are believed to be pure spirits who are not subject to sin, and thus are able to stand before the holy deity without suffering harm. Many believe that one third of the angels fell from Heaven, and follow a fallen archangel named Lucifer, or Satan, and thus have become fallen angels, namely demons.
Without going further into all the superstitions regarding angels, we would like to answer questions regarding angels, and hopefully give you some angel facts. Each answer will explore the most common social, religious belief regarding angels, but then, explain them spiritually.
Can People Become Angels After Death?
Many believe angels to be divinely created, spirit beings that are not related to humans in any way. The distinction between angels and mankind is typically made from passages in the Bible, such as Matthew 22:30, which says "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." But let's consider this scripture more closely. It is not saying that humans and angels are different, but that humans are in the manner as angels. What is manner? The word manner means "kind." Humans are spirits, the same as angels; and when that spirit is disembodied at the time of physical death, it is free to move on in the spirit realm. Angels are spirits, and so are humans. Yes, people can become angels after death of the body. Angels are enlightened messengers, spirits who speak to mankind. Not all people initially work in this capacity, but many do in some form or fashion. As spirits, it is all about loving one another and growing; ever elevating in enlightenment, which is knowing truth. Angels ascend and descend upon people to share messages of love and truth, no matter where such a low one can be found.
What are Angels?
People think of angels as having wings and halos, but angels are messengers. The original word from which we derive the word angel, means messenger. In the Bible, there are many places where angels are described as being human in form, and they often bring a message. A messenger does not have to be a spirit to be an angel, for anyone who brings a message is a messenger. There are many scriptures where the word for angel is used to describe a human messenger.
What Do Angels Do?
Angels bring messages to others, but they also work to assist, and guide use. Not wanting to interfere with our lives, angels allow us to make choices, but often will bring wise counsel. Angels observe, speak, even rescue at times. They are loving spirits in the unseen realm. Sometimes angels can be seen; other times they can be heard as thoughts within us. Occasionally, angels can be felt.
What Do Angels Look Like?
If an angel is seen, they are typically described one of two ways: either they are human in appearance, or they are described as spirit bodies of light. Can angels taken on the form of humans? Yes, they can, for they are human spirits. Many times angels help and assist people, and the ones they help are completely unaware of who they are. For example, we have had numerous accounts of angels rescuing people, coming out of no where, then disappearing as quickly as they manifested. The people rescued never knew they were saved by an angel, until they think about the experience later. An example of this is found within the New Testament, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Sometimes, people have described seeing a glowing messenger through dreams or visions, and these visitors are often enveloped in a bright light. They emanate peace and love, which can be tangibly felt, bringing a message of importance. The common social concept of angels are that they have wings and halos, but depictions such as they were created by artists until after the fourth century, and was based primarily on Greek gods, and other ancient cultures' deities. The artists were looking for a simple way to illustrate angels as being different from the humans in their artwork (for more on this, read: Angels In Early Christian Art). Wings convey the idea that angels are from the higher place, namely spirit, which some call Heaven. This is most likely how the idea of wings were added to spirits in literature and art. Also read: Angel Wings.
Are All Angels Good?
Yes. True angels which are simply enlightened, benevolant, spirit messengers always have our best interest in mind. But also know that people whose spirit does not elevate at first, and chooses to remain attached to this earthly realm are what we call ghosts. These earthbound spirits will bring their own messages to people, usually looking for help in ascending out of their condition. These are the very people that angels attempt to free. We may consider ghosts as being fallen angels, in a sense, meaning their message is not enlightened and usually one of fear. That would make ghosts (earthbound spirits) fallen messengers. Lost people in spirit are not something to fear, but are just in need of love and truth to set them free.
Where Do Angels Live?
It is common for people to believe that angels live in Heaven. But the idea of Heaven, really just indicates a place of higher position, and in this case the spirit world. Spirit is the energy that all dwell within, and angels are no different. Where are angels? Angels are everywhere, for they have no boundaries, and the realm of spirit co-exists with the physical world, as two planes; the physical world existing within Spirit (for more on this, read: Angels...Heaven).
How Do We Know Angels Exist?
People have believed in angels for thousands of years, so there is a precedence for this. Many spiritual books and writings talk about angels, and the accounts of them have caused many to wonder. But the stories of angels have basis, and are based upon human experience. Spirits appearing to people in various forms, whether it be through a dream, a vision, or while awake, have spawned the beliefs in angels. Such experiences with the angelic have inspired many of the writings found with religious manuscripts, as men wrote about them in order to try and make sense of what had happened. Sometimes, the accounts of angels truly taught mankind lessons about the spiritual world; other times, the imagination of mankind has created fearful ideas concerning angels and the state of the human race. By examining angels in stories, angels in pictures, and other possible evidence of spirit contact, we have sought to clarify the world of ghosts and angels, hopefully giving our visitors more credible information from which to understand what may be happening in the unseen kingdom. We believe the sheer volume of angel encounters (there are literally thousands of witnesses who say they have seen an angel) speaks to the truth of their existence.
Do Angels Have Names?
There is evidence that angels do indeed have names. If we were to look at ancient manuscripts, we would find quite a list of angel names. The name Gabriel intrigues us most, for it means "man of god," and further points to the truth of angels being enlightened, human spirits. There has also been the question regarding spirit guides. Are spirit guides and angels the same? Many differ on this, but from our perspective, angels bring messages, and so do spirit guides. Both are ministering spirits from the unseen realm, so they are most likely one and the same. Tribal cultures called their spirit visitors, spirit guides, which seems all too similar to the description of angels. We believe the difference was caused by different cultures, having different words, for the same beings.
What Are Guardian Angels?
The belief in guardian angels comes primarily from an Old Testament passage found in Psalm 91:10-12, "No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to his angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." From the studies we have done, we feel that everyone has spirits with them unseen, always watching, guiding, and aiding. This Catholic tradition of angels guarding people, in essence appears to be the case. Recordings of spirit voices show that enlightened beings are with us and helping us on our life path. It is our belief that the whole of mankind is being ministered to in order to elevate the thoughts collectively unto a place of love, peace, joy and unity.
Is Mankind Lower Than the Angels?
This idea comes from the Biblical passage found in Psalm 8:4-5, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? ... For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." In a sense, angels are higher than humans, for they perceive more than we do at this time. This is because we are earthy, attached to the physical world which we perceive as taking place outside of us. This type of thinking is a lower estate, and in contrast to the spirit world. Angels are elevated in their knowledge, being able to comprehend both perspectives. Their estate is one that is higher, and may be described as enlightenment, though they are ever learning and growing in the knowledge of truth. The life journey for all of us is to grow in truth, and thus elevate spiritually.