What Are Angels?
Angels are part of the universe God created. They exercise moral judgment. We see this because some of them sinned and fell from their positions (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They speak to people (Matthew 28:5; Acts 12:6-11) and sing praise to the Lord (Revelation 4:11; 5:11). We do not have any idea of how many angels God created.
Man cannot usually see angels unless God gives us a special ability to see them (Numbers 22:31; 2 Kings:17; Luke 2:13). They are engaged in guarding and protecting man (Psalm 34:7; 91:11; Heb. 1:14) and joining with Christians in worship to God (Hebrews 12:22), but they are still invisible. From time to time, angels took on a bodily form to appear to various people in Scripture (Matthew 28:5; Hebrews 13:2).
The Word of God indicates there is a rank and order among the angels. One angel, Michael, is called an archangel (Jude 9), a title that indicates rule or authority over other angles. He is called “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13. In Revelation 12:7-8, Michael is the leader of the angelic army.
Do Angels Have a Role in the End Times?
Revelation 12 presents a grand history of the church in the form of a vision of a woman, her son, and a great red dragon. The woman stands for the church, through which God brought his Son, the Savior, into the world. The dragon is the devil, who opposed the child's birth and persecuted the church after Christ has ascended in power. Verses 1–6 introduced the players in this holy war, showing how God overcame the devil through the birth and the saving ministry of Christ.
Starting in verse 7, the vision continues by showing the devil’s ongoing warfare against believers. Satan suffered a terrible defeat in the coming of Christ so that his activities are curtailed. Nonetheless, he continues to rage with the resources he has left in the spiritual warfare that marks this age between Christ's first and second comings.
The theme of this vision, starting in Revelation 12:7, is the defeat suffered by the devil because of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. According to Revelation 12:7, not only does spiritual warfare take place on the earth between Christ and his people and Satan and his servants, but there is also warfare in the spiritual realm of angels.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/mbolina