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Christianity: Do angels exist?

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The Bible speaks of astonishing creatures who are neither God nor human, but exist alongside both.  Their name comes from what they do - angel means ‘messenger’.  In the Bible, angels are experienced as bringing messages from God to people.  The messages are sometimes good news, such as the birth or resurrection of Jesus.  Sometimes the message is a warning, anticipating God’s judgement. The Bible describes angels as spirit-beings, made before the creation of the earth and numbering millions.  They are credited with intelligence and emotions. They are not normally visible to human eyes.  Their appearance often terrifies those who see them.  However, they are also sometimes described as looking like ordinary humans and bringing comfort. Angels feature throughout the life of Jesus.  An angel called Gabriel announced to Mary that Jesus would be born.  A ‘great company of angels’ praised God with the shepherds at the time of his birth.  Angels sat at Jesus’ empty tomb following his resurrection.  And Jesus told his followers that angels celebrate whenever human beings turn to God. In other places angels are pictured praising God, encouraging people in times of danger, helping believers and assisting them at their point of death. Throughout the whole of the two thousand years since the time of Jesus there have been occasions when particular Christians have related experiences that they can only explain as encounters with angels. There are a few references in the Bible to an angel named Satan who made a choice not to obey God and was ejected from his presence.  Literature and art have subsequently embellished these references to paint a picture of a being who is the driving force of all in the world that is evil. The evil in the world is, of course, the result of human actions and decisions.  However, many Christians recognise that there are spiritual forces of good and evil at work beyond our immediate understanding. Some Christians do not find it necessary to conceive of a devil figure to account for all that humans do which is sinful and evil.  They see angels and devils as metaphors for the spiritual occurrences that are part of the experience of all humans.

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1 Ahmed M = "Angels are neither human nor God. They are creation of God."
2 Ahmed M = "Angels function as messengers of God."
3 Ahmed M = "Angels do not have emotions or feelings.  They do exactly as instructed."