What are they? Are they real? What is their purpose?
The word Angel is used in the Bible to translate the Hebrew and Greek words for Messengers. Angels are superior to man in power and intelligence. Angels are heavenly beings, a celestial hierarchy, and an attendant spirit: one who attends another to perform a service.
There are nine ranks of angels. They are ranked below beginning from the lowest rank and ending with the highest rank: Angels, Archangels, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim.
1.Angel: a heavenly messenger
2.Archangel: Chief Angel
3.Principalities: The authority of a prince. The territory or jurisdiction of a prince.
4.Powers: Possession of control, authority, or influence over others.
5.Virtues: Strength, manliness. Manly strength or courage. Valor.
6.Dominions: Supreme authority; sovereignty.
7.Thrones: Royal power and dignity; sovereignty; to invest with Kingly rank or power; to hold Kingly power.
8.Cherubim: A biblical attendant of God or of a holy place often represented as a being with large wings, a human head, and an animal body.
9.Seraphim or Seraphs: One of the six-winged Angels standing in the presence of God.
Angels are called Angel of the Lord, Morning Stars, Hosts, Principalities and Powers. (Matt.1: 20, 24; Job 38:7; Gen.2: 1; Eph. 3:10).
Angels are created, they have different orders, they are immortal, and they worship God. (Nehemiah 9:6; Isa. 6:2; Luke 20:36, Nehemiah 9:6).
Angels are not to be worshiped, they do not marry, they are obedient, and they have knowledge of and interest in earthly affairs. (Revelation 19:10; Matt. 22:30; Psa. 103:20; Matt. 24:36).
Men have been called Angels, and Angels are examples of meekness. They are wise, mighty, holy, and innumerable. (II Samuel 19:27; II Peter 2:11; II Samuel 14:17,20; Psa. 103:20; Matt. 25:31; Heb. 12:22; Jude 14).
Angels have a purpose for their existence, they pioneer in or initiates major changes, they give warning or indication of the future, and they guard, protect or oppose if need be.
Angels guard the way of the tree of life, Gen. 3:24; the law was delivered by Angels, Acts 7:35, Gal. 3:19; and Angels were a means of conveying revelation to prophets II Kings 1:15, Dan. 4:13-17, Heb. 2:2; Rev.1: 1.
Angels announced the birth of Samson, Judges 13; of John the Baptist, Luke 1:11-20; and of Jesus, Matthew 1:20-21. It was Angels that warned Joseph to escape to Egypt when Herod sought to kill Jesus as an infant, and it was Angels that ministered to Jesus after the temptation in the wilderness Matt.4: 11 and at the Mount of Olives, when he went to pray before he was captured, Luke 22:43. Angels were present at the tomb of Jesus Matt. 28:2-6, at the Ascension of Jesus Acts 1:11 and will be with Jesus at his second coming, Matt. 25:31; II Thess. 1:7; Jude 15:15. Angels will be present at the judgment, Matt. 13:39,41,49; Mark 13:27. Angels minister to the Righteous: Gen. 16:7; Gen. 24:40; Isa. 63:9; Dan. 6:22; Luke 16:22; Acts 5:19; Acts 10:3-4; Acts 12:7-10. Angels will execute judgment upon the wicked, Gen. 19:1,13; II Sam. 24:16-17; II Kings 19:35; Psa. 35:5-6; Matt. 13:41-42; Acts. 12:23; Jude 14; Rev. 9:15; Rev. 15:1.
Angels appeared to:
Hagar Gen. 16:7, 21:7 / Abraham Gen. 18:1-2, 22:11
Lot Gen. 19:1 / Balaam Num. 22:31
The Israelites Judges 2:1 / Gideon Judges 6:11-12
Manoah's Wife Judges 13:2-3 / David I Chr. 21:15-16
Elijah I Kings 19:5-7 / Daniel Dan. 8:16-17, 9:21, 10:16
Nebbuchadnezzar Dan. 3:24-25 / Jesus Matt. 4:11, Luke 22:43
Joseph Matt. 1:20 / Mary Magdalene Matt. 28:1-2
Zacharias Luke 1:11-12 / Mary Luke 1:26-27
The Shepherds Luke 2:8,9,13,14 / Paul Acts 27:23-24
Phillip Acts 8:26 / Cornelius Acts 10:3
Peter & Others Acts 5:19-20, 12:7
Many believe that when they die, or their loved ones pass on, they become Angels. There is no statement confirming this in the Bible. In the book of Hebrews 12:22 in the Bible, it speaks of an innumerable company of angels; that means that there is too many to be numbered, they are countless. When God created man, he did not create him to be another angel, he had plenty of those. He wanted someone created more in his own image, Gen. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
There are many that desire to be like angels, and there are angels that desire to look into the things of man - I Peter 1:12. Angels have their part in the kingdom of God and it is good, and man is yet learning what and who he is and his role in the kingdom. It is said that the saints of God will judge the world and the angels – I Corinthians 6:2-3. For all who are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For the Spirit, which you have now received, is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more into bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, the spirit producing sonship in the bliss of which we cry, Abba (Father)! The Spirit Himself thus testifies together with our own spirit, assuring us that we are children of God, and if we are His children, then we are His heirs also: heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:14-17.