Angels are supernatural beings, entities or intelligences who, apart from serving as God’s messengers, also promote the welfare of the human race; they not only act as guardians of individual nations but as guardians of individual human beings as well. Angels are pure spirits, completely unrelated to matter. All the major Western religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism - acknowledge that angels are pure, spiritual beings who await God’s commands and who are also a manifestation of God to man.
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The early historical books of the Holy Bible portray the angel as a manifestation of God Himself. In some instances, the angel is given as having no physical form, only a voice, as was the case when the Angel of God spoke to Jacob in a dream (see Genesis 31:11). In some other cases, however, angels appear in human form (Genesis 18; 19; 23). These spiritual beings (see Hebrews 1:14) are described as being glorious in appearance (see Luke 2:9; Acts 12:7), usually surrounded by very bright light - like lighting (Matthew 28:3).
Angels are mentioned in the Holy Bible, right from the Book of Genesis to the Revelation (The Apocalypse). In Genesis 3:24 we find the first mention of an angel: the cherubim who God placed, sword in hand, to guard the Garden of Eden after the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, fell from grace in the sight of God. The final mention of angels in the bible occurs in Revelation 21, in connection with the ‘Final Attestation’ of the Apocalypse. Between these stated mentions of angels, however, there are several other references to angels in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some of these will be mentioned later.
Traditional Christian and Judaic beliefs hold that angels are innumerable host - that there are multitudes of angels - Luke 2:13; Matthew 26:53; Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 5:11 - and that they constitute the armies of heaven as well (see Revelation 12:7, 19:11-14) Furthermore, it is believed that angels were created shortly before the creation of the earth and therefore before the creation of man.