What Is The Spiritual World?
The word “spirit” is taken from the Greek word pneuma meaning “wind” or “breath”. When used in connection to the spiritual world, this word refers to the part of creation that (like the wind) is invisible, non-material and powerful. The existence of this invisible, spiritual realm is taught in the Bible by Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, which says…
“Fourteen years ago I was taken up to heaven for a visit. Don’t ask me whether my body was there or just my spirit, for I don’t know; only God can answer that. But anyway, there I was in paradise, and heard things so astounding that they are beyond a man’s power to describe or put in words (and anyway I am not allowed to tell them to others).”
Who Lives In This Spiritual Realm?
This invisible spiritual world is the place where God dwells in heaven (1 Samuel 2:10). This spiritual realm is a place that is also inhabited by beings known as “angels.”
What’s An Angel?
“Angels” are beings created by God who are superior in power and intelligence to human beings. Angels are spiritual beings (Hebrews 1:14) and do not have a physical form as humans do. Although angels do not have physical bodies as we do, they do have the ability to appear as human beings (you can see an example of this in Genesis 19:1-26).
How Did They Get Here?
Angels were created by God. A look at Psalm 148 helps to give us a little more information on this question…
“Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars… Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away” (Psalm 148:2-3, 5-6).
This portion of Scripture tells us that God simply said the word and angels came into existence. This passage also tells us that angels are permanent beings that will never die, for God has set them in place for ever and ever (see also Luke 20:36).
When Did God Create The Angels?
The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically when the angels were created. However, the Biblical book of Job gives us a clue as to when the angels came into existence. In Job chapter 38, the Lord issues a challenge to Job saying this…
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7).
In light of this, it’s probably safe to say that the angels came into existence sometime before creation of the earth and the physical universe.
What Do Angels Do?
The word angel simply means “messenger” and it seems that the main job of an angel is to act as an ambassador or representative. A good example of this occurs in Luke chapter 1 where an angel named Gabriel appears with news about the births of John the Baptist and Jesus.
How Many Angels Are There?
Many people have taken guesses as to exactly how many angels exist. Revelation 5:11 says, “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand…” That would be one hundred million angels if you’re keeping score. While it’s hard to give an exact number, it would definitely be accurate to say that there’s a whole lot of angels around.
How Do Angels Interact?
It would seem from Scripture that there are ranks of authority within the angelic realm. For example, Colossians 1:16 tells us this…
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.“
Words such as “thrones,” “powers,” “rulers,” and “authorities” indicate that an organizational structure exists within the angelic realm. We should also remember that the Biblical book of Jude identifies Michael as “the archangel” (see Jude 9). Since arche in Greek means “first,” we can assume that Michael is one of the highest ranking (if not the highest ranking) angel.
How Strong Are They?
Pretty strong, it would seem. Psalm 103:20 refers to angels as “mighty” and 2 Thessalonians 1:7 calls them “powerful.” However, it does seem that some angels may be more powerful than others. For example Daniel 10:13 tells us that an angel was prevented from completing an assignment until he received additional help from Michael the archangel. But this doesn’t imply weakness; 2 Kings 19:35 tells us that the angel of the Lord once wiped out 185,000 Assyrian troops overnight. That’s pretty powerful.
Next: When Good Angels Go Bad