By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
There are many myths about angels in the modern day. Many of the myths started a long time ago, while others are more recent. It is good to know the truth about angels because it will help prevent us from having an incorrect view of these biblical creatures. Due to the angel craze in the 1990s, more incorrect views of angels started spreading among believers and unbelievers alike.
If you are interested in learning more about the truth of angels, here are five myths you should bust first:
1. Our Dead Loved Ones Become Angels
One myth about angels is that our dead loved ones become angels. This was a common view held by many of my peers in college. Despite the professor teaching the exact opposite, many of these individuals chose to keep believing their loved ones become angels when they pass away. The truth is that our dead loved ones go to be with Christ when they pass away if they placed faith in Jesus. They don’t become angels. Angels are angels, and humans are humans.
A human can never become an angel. Angels are spiritual beings, while humans are (yes, spiritual, but also) physical beings. In other words, an angel always stays an angel, just as a human being stays a human being. Our loved ones who passed away don’t become angels who look down on us. The Bible never gives us the information that our dead loved ones can look down on us from heaven. While many find comfort in the false notion that passed loved ones can look down from heaven on them, it isn’t true.
Our passed-away loved ones are with Christ and are joyfully spending their time with the Lord. Even though our passed-away loved ones don’t look down on us, God does, and He is far greater than anyone else. God is the One who is able to protect and guide us in our lives. Therefore, we can take great confidence in knowing that God is looking down on us. Our dead loved ones don’t become angels, but we do have the promise of seeing them again one day in heaven.
2. We All Have a Guardian Angel
A second myth about angels is that we all have a guardian angel. I used to believe everyone had a guardian angel because that is what I was taught as a kid. It wasn’t until I went to Bible college that I learned we don’t have guardian angels. Many people try to use Hebrews 1:14 as proof of guardian angels, yet these individuals are misinterpreting the verse. Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation; however, this verse never tells us these angels are specifically assigned to one person to guard and protect.
Angels can help us, yet this is only because of God’s instructions. God is in control of everything, including angels. They listen to what He says, and they obey Him faithfully. Therefore, if God sends an angel to encourage, protect, or help someone, it doesn’t mean this specific angel is someone’s guardian angel. Rather, this angel is simply an angel God sent to help one of His children. Most likely, many angels help us throughout our lives without us knowing.
There is no way to prove guardian angels from a biblical context. This might be surprising to many individuals because of the intense focus placed on guardian angels in their earlier lives. You don’t need to be disappointed, but rather take joy in knowing that God Himself is always protecting you. His protection is the greatest, and He will never leave you abandoned. He will send angels to help you at times, but the glory and praise belong to God—not to the angels.
3. Angels Are Female
A third myth about angels is that there are female angels. Everywhere in the Bible where angels are mentioned, masculine pronouns are used. In fact, the only angels we are given the names of are Michael and Gabriel, which are both male names. Satan was also an angel before he fell, and he also has a male name. While many of us are taught growing up that there are male and female angels, the only angels mentioned in the Bible are males.
Some may argue just because female angels aren’t mentioned doesn’t mean there aren’t any in heaven. This is a good point; however, when God created Eve, she was the first female to have ever been created. There were no females before Eve. Medieval Jewish tradition tries to claim Adam had a first wife, Lilith; however, this is not biblical and should be rejected. The Bible tells us Eve was the first female created, which means there were no females before her, whether angels or humans.
4. Angels Look a Certain Way
A fourth myth about angels is that they look a certain way. Artwork oftentimes depicts angels as being small, chubby, happy individuals floating around with wings, wearing halos, and playing the harp. While this depiction looks sweet and happy, it is not biblically accurate. Nowhere in the Bible are we told angels look like this. In fact, from what we have in the Bible, it seems that angels are intimidating, large, and astounding. They are not said to be small, chubby, cute, all smiles, or playing musical instruments.
Luke 2:9 says, “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” As we can see from this passage, seeing the angel terrified the people present. Also, in the Book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel is terrified by the appearance of an angel (Daniel 10:10-21). Since this is true, we can see that depictions of angels in the media are not accurate. Angels are strong, powerful, spiritual beings who cannot be defined by a human.
5. Angels Have Halos
A fifth myth about angels is that they have halos. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that angels have halos. Over the course of modern culture, angels are depicted as wearing floating halos over their heads. Even in some paintings of Jesus, Mary, or the Apostles, we see them depicted with halos over their heads. Though this is a symbol of sanctity, neither angels nor Jesus, Mary, or the Apostles ever had a floating halo above their heads.
While depicting angels having a halo might seem innocent and not important, it can actually cause people to have an incorrect view of angels. It is important to educate others on what the Bible actually says—not how artists have depicted angels throughout history. The Bible is our ultimate guidebook, and we can trust everything it says. Nothing in it is inaccurate, nor is there any falsehood in the Bible.
Angels are never said to have halos, and most angels don’t have wings. While some angels are said to have wings, such as the seraphim, never are we told all the angels have wings. The emphasis placed on angels having halos and wings is something that has been pushed by artists and the media for a long time. It is only through proper study and dedication to the Bible that one can see the truth that angels don’t have halos, and not all of them have wings.
Photo Credit: ©iStockGettyImagesPlusRomoloTavani
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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