Below is the answer to a question I received via email.
Question: What are angels and what do they do?
Angels are ministering spirits, that is, they minister to us (I believe invisibly most of the time) in times of need (Hebrews 1:14). They are of greater power than are we (at His incarnation, Christ was made LOWER than angels, as a man – Hebrews 2:9). In fact just one angel killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night in Isaiah 37! There are many angels, arguably equally proportional to the number of God’s children alive at any given time (Mth 18:10). So many, that they are considered an innumerable company (Hebrews 12:22).
Angels bring messages to God’s people (Luke 1:19). They also fight God’s battles militarily (Revelation 12:7, Matthew 26:53). Angels also perform certain tasks for God on earth (Jude 1:9). Luke 16:22 indicates that angels carry us to the Lord’s presence when we die.
Some angels did indeed rebel against God (ie the angels that sinned) sometime after the creation (2 Peter 2:4). This was probably at the time of the fall of Adam, though we don’t know for sure. Nor do we know their names. The “lake of fire” is a place reserved for the devil and his angels (Mth 25:41). It is presumed that these “devil’s angels” are those who fell into sin.
According to 1 Timothy 5:21, Angels who did not sin are called “elect angels.” They are upright and serve God in Holiness.
Hope these thoughts help.
Originally published September 2010