What do angels do according to the Bible?

by Matt Slick

Angels are beings created by God to serve Him and carry out His will. There are many kinds of angels as well as numerous functions angels perform.

  1. Announce birth of Jesus
    1. Matthew 1:20-21, "But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.'"
  2.  Announce birth of John the Baptist
    1. Luke 1:11-13, "And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.'"
  3. Appear as people
    1. Gen. 19:12-13, "Then the men said to Lot, 'Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.'"
  4. Deliver the Law
    1. Acts 7:53, "you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
    2. Galatians 3:19, "Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made."
    3. Hebrews 2:2, "For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense."
  5. Gather the elect
    1.  Mark 13:27, "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven."
  6. Gather the wicked at the end of the age and cast them into the fire
    1. Matthew 13:39-41, "and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age."
    2. Matthew 13:49-50, "So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous. 50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
  7. Guard the Tree of Life
    1. Genesis 3:24,"So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life."
  8. Intermediaries between God and Man
    1. 2 Kings 1:15, "And the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, 'Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.' So he arose and went down with him to the king."
    2. Daniel 4:13, "I was looking in the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven."
    3. Acts 8:26, "But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, 'Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.' (This is a desert road.)"
  9. Minister to Jesus
    1. Matthew 4:11, "Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him."
    2. Mark 1:13, "And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him."
    3. Luke 22:43, "Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him."
  10. Minister to people
    1. Genesis 16:7-10, "Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, 'Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?' And she said, 'I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.' 9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, 'Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.' 10 Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, 'I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count.'"
    2. Genesis 24:40, "And he said to me, 'The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives, and from my father’s house.'"
    3. Daniel 3:28, "Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.'"
    4. Luke 16:22, "Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried."
    5. Acts 5:19-20, "But an angel of the Lord during the night opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20 'Go your way, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.'"
    6. Hebrews 1:14, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?"
  11. Obey God, doing His will
    1. Psalm 103:20-21, "Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will."
  12. Praised God
    1. Isaiah 6:3, "And one called out to another and said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.'"
    2. Revelation 4:8, "And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.'”
  13. Rebuke people
    1. Numbers 22:22-23, "But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way."
  14. Return with Christ at his second coming
    1. Matthew 25:31, "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne."
    2. Mark 8:38, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
  15. Subject to God
    1. 1 Peter 3:22, "who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.