Monday, June 25, 2012

Do Angels Need Wings To Travel?

Do Angels Have Wings?

Question : I would like to know that whether angels really have wings or not? Some men of God preach that angels don't have wings, still other preach that they have wings. I am now confused.

Answer : When we speak about angels, we should remember that they are spirit-beings and are not a natural and physical beings like us who are bound by the law of gravity. The angels do not require wings to travel actually.

We know from the word of God that the heirarchies in the angelic sphere are principlaities, powers, ruler of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place
(Eph 6:12). Apostle Paul mainly describes this hierarchy only to describe the rebellious one third of all angels who came to work against the will and purpose of God (Rev 12:4). In actuality when one third of the angels fell from heaven along with Satan as their leader, they were all actually part of God's worship team when the earth was formed initially, who chose a little later to seperately act on their own (Job 38:6-7). These fallen angels must have continued with the same hierarcy that they had previously because all of them were uniquely created by God with a particular and unique capacity of glory only (Isaiah 14:12-14; Rev 12:3-4; 1 Cor 15:41). The two third elect angels did not fall from heaven because they stayed faithful to God their Creator in submission and obedience to His command (1 Tim. 5:21). In the letter which Apostle Paul wrote to Colossian Church he described that Jesus has disarmed principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them by triumphing over them through His death on the Cross (Col 2:15). So we know from this that the principalities were the top chief in the hierarchies and powers were their assistants in the angelic ranks. God has already judged some of the fallen angels which possessed people illegally during Noah's time and have locked them up in prison for final judgment (2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6), still other Satanic and his demonic counterparts whom God allowed after the universal flood were spiritually judged in Christ Jesus, and personally each erring one will be finally sentenced to death before the white throne judgment and sent for eternal torment which is primarily prepared for them (John 12:31; Rev 12:9; 20:10, 11-15; Matt 25:41). We the Church saints will judge angels during that time under the leadership of Jesus (1 Cor 6:3-4).

Angels are "holy"
(Mark 8:38), wise (2 Sam 14:20), innumerable (Heb 12:22) and "mighty in strength" (Psa 103:20; Rev 18:21). As the angels were created by God through Christ Jesus, they are just created beings who are not worthy of worship even though they are awesome in glory (Col 1:13, 16; Heb 1:2-3; Psa 8:5; Luke 2:9). Angel worship is prohibited by God (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; 22:9).

The word "angel" comes from the Greek word "angelos" which means "messenger." Angels are created by God as messengers
(Luke 1:19), warriors (Dan 10:13), and servants mainly (Psa 103:20; Heb 1:14). They are created to bring glory to God constantly (Psa 50:23; 91:11-12; 148:2). Angels are spiritual beings without bodies of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), they have no ability to procreate or marry (Matt 22:30). They are also used by God to execute His judgement on earth (Matt 13:49-50; Rev 15:1).

The Cherubim and Seraphim are two types of angels with in the whole, possibly the two highest orders of angels I believe because they are the closest guarding angels of the holiness of the throne of God
(Exod 25:20; Ezek 10; Isa 6).

The Cherubim are the ones that stands with their wings open below and beside the actual throne of God in which He is seated in heaven
(Exod 25:20; Ezek 10:1). In the midst of the throne and around the throne of God these four living creatures keep moving proclaiming the holiness of the Lord, leading in worship and adoration toward God, and they have six wings (Rev 4:8). The main purpose of the four living creatures has to do with declaring the holiness of God and also they were involved in executing God's justice as they were the one who commanded and unleashed the horsemen saying “come” (6:1-8), and also it is one of the four living creatures that will supply to the seven angels of God with the golden bowls full of the seven last plagues of the wrath of God (Rev 15:1, 7). Ezekiel the prophet revealed that when the wings of these Cherubim flapped, the resultant sound was like the voice of "Almighty God when He speaks." (Ezek 10:5). Also their wings were full of eyes (Ezek 10:12). These living creatures appeared to have the form of a man's hand under their wings which showed that God's reason for creating these beings was to ultimately make them serve God in His purpose for man (Ezek 10:8). Ezekiel saw that when the glory of the Lord departed the entrance of the Temple of God, "the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in [his]... sight." (Ezek 10:19). So we know from this that this Cherubim uses its wings to fly and it is used by the Lord as a traveling vehicle to shuttle from heaven to earth and earth to heaven (Psa 18:10). God dwells between the Cherubim (Psa 99:1; Isa 37:16). When man sinned and fell from the perfect glory of God (Rom 3:23), God mercifully placed a Cherubim in the garden of Eden to prevent the sinful couple from eating the fruit of the tree of life and living forever in that sinful fallen state (Gen. 3:24).

The Seraphim are angels that stands above the throne of God and worships Him continually. Because it stands above the throne which indicates that they are able to see the unfolding revelation of God all the time, because of this reason they were given six wings out of which two are used to cover their face, the other two are used to cover their feet and with the final two they used it to fly
(Isa 6:2). From this we know that these angels too fly, using their two out of six wings. Also we come to understand that in the heavenly realm, wings doesn't necessarily mean that it is given only to fly. They cover their face and feet with their four wings inorder to show their deep respect and awe towards God in all humility, thus conveying to all that they know so much of God and experience His glory so much by God's mercy that they do not deserve to even reveal themselves to any one who comes before God. When these creatures of heaven see the earth with God's perspective, they notice nothing but all the earth filled to the full with the Glory of God that they cannot stop crying, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts" (Isa 6:3). These Seraphim also served as agents of purification for Isaiah as he began his prophetic ministry (Isa 6:6-7).

Apart from these above two highest orders of angels, many other angels are sent by God to serve saved man and are present invisibly around us
(Heb 1:14). There are no explicit evidence anywhere in the Bible to tell that all angels have wings, but some are said to have wings as we have seen above. Infact the Bible says that many times they appeared to people suddenly out of no where as strangers and were "entertained unaware" by the good hearted saints of God who lived in the Old Testament times (Heb 13:2). The apostolic writer of the Hebrew Book was saying this example to empasize the point that these angels might appear in our times too like in the same way, so that we should also emulate the compassionate heart of the Old Testament saints and show forth the glory of God to the whole universe. This shows that if these angels had come with wings, it would have immediately made them to be seen as some one different or alien rather than just be seen as some other human stranger from another place on earth.

Most of the people who have come to believe that angels have wings are not wrong in the sense that the Cherubim, Seraphim, Gabriel and other angels who were seen by humans were said to have had wings and were using it to fly. There are various orders of angels which serve different functions in the universal kingdom of God like Cherubim and Seraphim which have wings to it and serve God very near to His throne in the Holy of Holies in heaven. Satan is believed to be the most powerful angel in existence and must have had wings as he is called in the Scripture as anointed "Cherub" of which "Cherubim" is a plural word
(Eze 28:14, 16; 1 John 4:4). Although we do not see from the word of God that Satan is said to have wings, but as the Cherubim in other places of the Scripture had wings, we can implicitly conclude that it must have had wings (Ezek 10:8). Then there are the arch angels of whom Michael is one of the "chief princes [Note the plurality]" (Dan 10:13). This gives us a clue that there are other arch angels along with Michael who operate in this highest authority of God over all other angels (Daniel 12:1; Jude 1:9; 1 Thess 4:16). Michael is seen to be a warrior and a guarding angel mainly (Rev 12:7; Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1). The word "archangel" is not found in the Old Testament and comes from a Greek word meaning "chief angel", which means the leader of other angels. An interesting note is that in Rom. 8:38, Eph. 1:21, and Col. 1:16, the word "principalities" is used. In Greek the word has the prefix of "arche," which means 'chief' suggesting it could be the archangels. This does imply there is a hierarchy of angels as is suggested in 1 Pet. 3:22: "who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him." (NKJV). In other words, it means that Jesus is at the right hand of God because all angels of chief authority [principlaities] and those who were holding delegated powers under them were made to be subject compulsarily under Him by the order of God's power (Col 2:15; Php 2:9-11). Apostle Paul also mentions of angelic stars among the "elect angels" (1 Tim 5:21) and says "one star differs from another star in glory" (1 Cor 15:41) thus implying again that each angel has a unique glory and position of authority (Rev 12:4).

Then comes the messenger angel Gabriel who is again and again seen to announce important messages from God to people, the Scripture says that he was made to fly swiftly by God to meet Daniel
(Daniel 9:21). Then we see the demonic feminine angelic beings with evil characteristics having wings and carrying a container in which a lead disc of wickedness was sitting, they carried it to finally build a end time Babylon from which the whole world will be controlled by the Anti-christ (Zech 5:5-11; Rev 18:10; 17:1-5). Then we see a angel flying through the midst of heaven to proclaim the woe's of God to the inhabitant's of earth just after the fouth trumpet of the apocalypse angel who sounded it (Rev 8:13). Then again we also see another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on earth (Rev 14:6).

The wings of an angel do not just exist in order to help them fly like a bird on earth which will use his or her wings differently, such as to flap, soar, or hover in the air inorder to overcome both air-resistace and gravity. Though these angelic wings may be used for flying, they are used only to fly gloriously as per the instruction and need of the situation that God has sent them to fulfill. The wings of Cherubim and Seraphim are beyond the earthly purpose to fulfill a symbolic heavenly purpose of the royalty of heaven. Like many times as we have already discussed, angels in the Bible have appeared like human beings in disguise under God's sovereign authority to fulfill His assignment and order, but this doesn't mean that they look like human beings. So we cannot limit the purpose of the wings of angels to a limited understanding of flying only, but more than that as they move around in space where gravity is no more there, it is given for something more than that to fulfill God's purpose for them in glorifying Him.

As you said, some men of God preach that angels don't have wings, still other preach that they have wings because there are certain amount of truth in both the teaching. As we have discussed, it is not just one or the other that is right, but both are right. So I believe that you need not be confused, but come to comprehend that both are possible according to the word of God.

Much Blessings...


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