What Do Angels Look Like? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman on July 4, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

What do angels look like?  What do angels not look like?  What does the Bible say are angel’s primary duty to humans?

What do angels look like? 

Angels are not composed of physical matter but are spirit beings created by God (Heb. 1:14).  They can resemble human form when God permits or wills it (Gen. 19).  There are different orders or ranks of angels in heaven.  Those that covered the throne in heaven were mighty seraphim angels.  They had six wings that hovered over the throne of God.  Their height must have been close to 15 to 18 feet tall.  Two of the seraphim’s wings covered their faces because God is so holy that even the seraphim angels could not look upon God (Isaiah 6:2).  Another set of wings covered their feet for they were in the midst of holy ground where God abided and Moses (Exodus 3:5) and Joshua (Joshua 5:15) had to remove their shoes while in the presence of God.  Angels do have some human features like feet, voices, and faces (Isaiah 6:1-2).

Daniel 10:5-6 gives a vivid description of an angel that he saw: “I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.” So Daniel describes an angel with a face like a lightning bolt, eyes like flaming torches of fire, arms and legs that gleam like polished chrome, and a voice like that of thunder.  It is no wonder that those men who were keepers of Jesus’ tomb severely shook and fell down like dead men in terror at the sight of the angel present there because “His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow” (Matt. 28:4).

Angels are neither male nor female although they always appear as a man when they take human form. They are nonetheless too powerful for humans to resist as a mighty cherubim kept Adam and Even from entering back into the Garden of Eden because he also had a mighty, flaming sword (Gen. 3:24).  Daniel, in his vision, saw that the number of angels could not be counted saying, “Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him…“(Dan 7:10).

What angels do not look like

What do Angels look like?

What angels do not look like

Nowhere in the Bible are angels described like the pictures, paintings, or figurines of little baby cherub angels with wings that we so often see.  Michael and Gabriel are archangels and they are anything but little and cute.  They are powerful agents and messengers of God that are formidable in their own right.  Angels are not effeminate looking and resembling beautiful women with wings.  These are man made concoctions and do not come from the Bible.  Even Satan, a fallen angel and a powerful one at that, stands some 18 feet tall, and he does not have horns and a pitchfork.  He was perhaps the most beautiful and splendid angel ever created by God and of the highest order, but his pride caused his downfall and God caste him from heaven (Ezekiel chapter 14 and 28).

What does the Bible say are Angel’s Primary Duty To Humans?

Angels have a primary duty to man but more so for God.  They are His messengers.  They are His agents for bringing punishment and displaying His holy wrath.  They will be used by God during the coming Great Tribulation as described in the book of Revelation (18:21).  Even a king was not spared as he once boasted that “I am a god” and an angel apparently killed him on the spot (Acts 12:20-25).

Angels do serve a purpose for humans.  Each one of us has at least one, maybe more, that are assigned to each and every one of us and one helped to strengthen Jesus (Luke 22:43).  They’re commanded to “encamp all around us” and keep us from falling, getting hurt, who have been and will be “…from this time forth and forever to be with us”… and even strengthen us, and minister to us (Luke 22:43, Psalm 34:7, 91:10-13, 103:21).  It’s possible that we might have encountered and entertained angels without even knowing it (Heb 13:1-2).  Matthew 18:10 indicates that children have their own angels with the scriptures saying, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”  The sheer numbers of holy angels disposed to fight for us is uncountable (Dan. 7:10, Heb 12:22).

Even when we die, angels may be the ones that carry our spirit into the presence of God as Lazarus was “carried by the angels (plural indicates there may be more than one assigned to us) into Abraham’s bosom” after he had died (Luke 16:22).  So angels are nothing to be afraid of for the believer but a terror to be reckoned with in the day of God’s wrath, but today if you will hear His voice and believe in Jesus Christ, they will be your sovereign protector, dispatched by God Almighty.  And when you are saved, the angels rejoice in heaven over you. I hope they can rejoice for you if you are not already saved. If you are, I rejoice too with them. Christians will someday meet their own angels, but more importantly, meet Jesus Christ and be with Him forever in eternal joy and happiness.

Conclusion

Angels are spiritual beings created by God. Sometimes God allows them to resemble humans and when they appear in a human form in the Bible, they are always a man even though angels are neither male of female. There are different ranks or classes of angels including the seraphim and the cherubim. The seraphim are described as having six wings that are very large. They have some human features, such as feet, voices and faces. Angels are God’s messengers as well as protectors of humans. As believers one day we will be with them in Heaven.

Would you like to read more questions and answers? Take a look at these:

What Does the Devil Look Like?

Are Guardian Angels Biblical?

What Do Christians Say About 2012?

Sources

The Holy Bible, New International Version

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

YouTube “Angels Unaware” by Michael W. Smith

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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{ 137 comments… read them below or add one }

joy April 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

I love this post and just stumbled on it!!

Thanks Mr Wellman for all your responses. I have a question about your above comment on homosexuality. First i agree 100% that homosexuality is not a possession of a demon. I think however, it is an oppression of demons since they constantly tempt you to fall (i don’t want to assume the devil is the one who comes “himself” to tempt people seeing as he is NOT omnipresent like God is. i just assume he sends his agents. I am aware that he goes to and fro looking for who to devour.)

Anyway, from your comment, i assume this applies to all forms of sexual sin too. Not to diminish your struggle with drug addiction and the freedom you now share in Christ, but according to the Bible, sexual sin is not like any other type of sin because it is a sin outside ones body. You mention that your drugs supplies dried up and i give Glory to God for that because he eliminated the source that caused you to fall into addiction!! God is soo awesome! Now, my question are, how is a homosexual or any one struggling with sexual sin supposed to receive freedom? I ask because apparently being saved or receiving Jesus as your personal savior is just the first step. There is a long journey after that but im curious to know what this freedom looks like! less urges? stronger will to resist? or no urge at all?

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Jack Wellman April 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Indeed Joy, it is a long journey but God will enable those who have repented and confessed and put their trust in Christ for we know that we can do all things thru Christ Who will strengthen us but of ourselves, we can do nothing. God always provides a way for those who want to overcome. Sanctification is a life long process and there is room at the cross for all who will allow the Spirit to work in them to effectually overcome.

Yes, God can remove the urges but certainly most will still remain as even Paul battled all of his life with sin (Rom 7). Read all of Romans 7 to see how he struggle and his conclusion is found at the end in verses 24-25, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

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Jordan Dietrich April 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

1 Corinthians 10:13 says it all, concerning your question….
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
I believe this is precisely what Jack is referring to, “God providing a way out”. I can tell you that we will never be free from the urge to sin as we are still in the flesh and the flesh is sinful and we cannot necessarily trust our own hearts either (“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
…Jeremiah 17:9). This is where the work of The Holy Spirit “within” our hearts prevails. We will only be free of the sinful nature upon our earthly death/entrance into “true life”, then we will be given new glorified bodies before our return with Christ to reign for 1,000 years! :)
I still have urges, although VERY few and far between, but now they only last mere seconds, and then I remember what Christ has done in my life and I submit to the power of The Holy Spirit and He gives me the strength to turn from it (repent) and carry on and fight the good fight of faith. By the way, the frequency has lessened and lessened the longer I have gone without giving in to the urge/temptation and you will become stronger and stronger as well, but remember that this is the Spirit of Power moving you to live out Messiahs will. Submit to His will on a daily basis and put on the full armor of God and He will sustain you. He promises this and His promises are SOLID!

God bless,

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Jack Wellman April 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Thank you so much Mr. Dietrich. Wow, what an amazing testimony sir. You give us all hope for we are all battling sin for all of our lives, even like the Apostle Paul still did after his own conversion (Romans 7). You are so encouraging sir. May God richly bless you in your walk with Christ.

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joy April 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

wow! Thank you Jordan and Jack for your responses and for taking the time to encourage and remind me of what the word of God promises. I’m letting go and not doing it by my power any longer. I’m ready to surrender and seek God with all of my heart! God bless you both. You have no idea how much you’ve helped!

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Jack Wellman April 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I loved Mr. Dietrich’s comment. Doesn’t that give us ALL hope for as I told this man of God, we all struggle in this life and we all are facing our own giants (so to speak). I believe there is victory in surrender and when we fall down, take heart, He is there to pick us up again. Thank you Jesus! All glory to you.

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Laura Phillips June 5, 2013 at 6:38 am

My son is now 23 years old. At the age of 10 he saw a large angel at church. He was praying in the spirit. Something told him to open his eyes. It repeated, “I said, open your eyes” . He opened them and could not believe what he was seeing. He told me words could not even describe it. It was the most beautiful thing. Everything was so bright . He reached for it and could not see his own arm waving. He tried to speak to it and no words came out? My son could not speak. Then my son said it was bigger than he and I put together! He told me he thought it was part of our service and kept looking for ropes holding it up from the ceiling. There were no ropes? Then he said it pulled out a sword. Then fire was on the sword! My son told me he thought,”now THAT IS DANGEROUS”! As soon as he blinked and closed his eyes it was gone! He never spoke of it again sinse then and still doesn’t believe what he saw. He does not have as close of a walk as he once had and is in THe World. I still wonder to this day why it appeared to him?

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Ella May 13, 2014 at 5:37 am

It wasn’t an angel, Laura. It’s absolutely inconsistent with Biblical descriptions of humans meeting angels, and the vision served no purpose. Moreover, if he’d really seen an angel in its heavenly form he would have fallen on his face instantly, and probably wouldn’t have lost his faith as an adult. I’m not sure what you mean by “praying in the spirit,” as there is no other way to pray, but if he was encouraged to have some kind of extra-sensory spiritual experience as a child, he may have imagined this scene and repeated it to you knowing you’d react positively and not dispute it. Alternatively he may have had some kind of hallucination, but I doubt it. Kids have vivid imaginations. Stick very closely to the Bible for your inspiration, and don’t stray from it. Remember, even the devil masquerades as an angel of light. I do hope your son finds his way back to the church.

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NNs August 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I am reading a lot of your bible studies. They are very well constructed and very informative! Keep up the good work. God bless you.

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Jack Wellman August 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Believe me, they made my day!

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Chris from Wichita Ks December 7, 2013 at 12:56 am

Very interesting and insightful, I have been listening to God and I don’t believe we go to heaven when we die because throughout the bible he tells us we will enter into his rest and we will sleep , and that he will raise up those of us that sleep before those of us that are still “alive” . He even said that king David has not ascended into heaven and told Peter that although he would be ccrucified and join him in heaven that John would wait here for his second coming.

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Ella January 14, 2014 at 7:05 am

Chris, you’re a bit confused. Martyrs and those who die of natural causes do not have different fates. All those who are saved go to Heaven when they die. When Scripture talks about “sleeping,” it refers to the body. When Jesus returns, “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thess 4:16). These are those who have “fallen asleep,” or died, before the return of Christ. If I died today, my spirit would go to Heaven to be with God (remember, Jesus said to the thief on the cross “TODAY you will be with me in Paradise”). Jesus didn’t say John would wait here for his second coming. He said, in John 21:22-23 “‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’ Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, ‘IF I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?'” (I put “IF” in capital letters). When Scripture talks about us entering his “rest,” it doesn’t mean sleep, it means Heaven, which is a place of peace and rest. When Scripture talks about the dead “sleeping,” it refers to their bodies, which are lying still under the earth until the day “the earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19).

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Chris from Wichita Ks December 7, 2013 at 1:05 am

And so I know that those who are killed for the glory of God like Peter and Paul and most of the apostles and many children of God over the years including the times we’re in now, those that were killed because they of there faith are in heaven and are crying out to God for vengeance “revelation” but those of us who die of natural causes sleep in peace until his return.

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Jack Wellman December 7, 2013 at 11:05 am

Wow Chris…so very good to hear from you. I so agree with your statement and even persecution promises the believer a blessing as opposed to what the world believes. It is so good to see your words. I pray that God continue to bless you and perhaps I can see you again sometime, not just in the Kingdom.

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David Duff March 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Great article! This is something that I have been preaching for years – nonetheless, I do have one question.
Where do you get the height of the angels? How did you come to the conclusion that Lucifer is 18 feet tall?

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Jack Wellman March 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Thank you Mr. Duff. I get those measurements from the temples measurements of cheribums. We cannot be certain but the Devil’s height has little to do with his power for even a small angel has enormous power. If you read this description in Ezekiel 1:1-28, you will discover that these angels look nothing at all like cute, chubby babies with wings. In Ezekiel 10:20, we are told these angels are cherubim. Some angels are called seraphim. In Isaiah 6:1-8 we see a description of seraphim. These are tall angels, each with 6 wings, and they can fly.

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Faith June 19, 2014 at 10:52 am

What do I do when everyday I feel God is going to take my parents away if I dont love God enough. I feel miserable.

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Jack Wellman June 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

Thank you Faith for your comments. God does not punish us but corrects every child of His (Heb 12:7). If you don’t love God enough you asked? Do any of us really do this? God loves us regardless of what we feel. If a person has been saved then they should not worry about God taking His love away…He never does this. I notice one theme you keep writing about….it is that you “feel” miserable and that you “feel God is going to take my parents away.” Take them away to where? Have you spoken with your parents about this? Have you talked with your pastor over this? You are putting to much importance on human feelings and our feelings are very, very unreliable but God’s Word is certain (John 10:28-29; John 6:37, 39). Read Romans 8, talk to your pastor and if you haven’t spoken with him, why not?

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Faith June 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

What do I do when everyday I feel God is going to take my parents away if I dont love God enough. I feel miserable. And all the bad things that happen to be. IS it just God punishing me?

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