The unseen, supernatural, and spiritual is a central focus of human curiosity. We often wonder about the unseen world and if it is governed by the same rules and boundaries that we are governed by. Often times, our minds can’t conceive of an eternity that exists without the constraints that we mere mortals face here on earth. That leaves us to beg the question if angels have free will.
The answer to whether angels have free will may differ depending on spiritual belief systems and what angels are in each belief. Within Christianity, angels do have free will. This stems from Lucifer making the decision to go against God, with the fallen angels, according to their own free will.
Let us delve further into exploring whether or not angels have free will.
What are Angels in Different Beliefs?
Angels are beautiful and phenomenal spiritual beings. In multiple religious and spiritual belief systems, they are believed to be messengers between God and the spiritual realm, and humans here on earth.
Throughout Biblical references, angels are depicted as powerful, intelligent, and wise. Before the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, angels were the messengers that God used to communicate with humans here on earth.
While they are beings created by God, from a Biblical perspective, they are not human, and humans do not become angels in the afterlife. Rather, humans are said to become like angels, but not angels.
The religious beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism all believe in angels of a similar sort, but in Hinduism, it is believed that there are beings that are spiritual but fall below the gods on the hierarchy of spiritual order.
The Free Will of Angels
While angels are created by God and were created to worship God, much like humans, they also have free will just as humans do. This can be seen in the act of Lucifer using his own free will, knowledge, and intelligence, to gain a following in heaven and actually be kicked out of heaven.
Lucifer and his fallen angels made a choice to use their own discretion to go against the will of God. In so doing, they were cast out from heaven. There were those angels who, through their own free will, chose to continue worshiping God and continue carrying out His more powerful will.
Angels carry out the will of God and often carry messages between the physical and the spiritual world. Once Lucifer and his fallen angels were cast out of heaven, they became ‘agents of darkness.’
It has been seen that while carrying out the will of God, angels would face challenges along the way and would have to battle their way through agents of darkness to complete the will of God. This is because, in using his own will, Lucifer made it his purpose to do the opposite of what he was designed to do.
Lucifer does everything in his power to try and stop the will of God from happening.
Similarities and Differences Between Humans and Angels
While angels are revered and thought of as holy, as humans, we do not pay much attention to them. As it should be, religious beliefs encourage us to focus on God, rather than being distracted by other beings, even if they are spiritual.
This stems from the belief systems opposing any form of idol worship, and a firm belief in worshiping the creator rather than the created.
Aside from abiding in different realms, humans and angels hold a number of similarities. They were both created by God, and they were created to praise and worship God. Both humans and angels were made to possess a deeper spiritual essence and while angels embody that spiritual essence, humans hold a different physical form.
Humans and angels also differ in one great aspect, and that is humans are able to procreate as they were created by God to populate the earth. Angels, however, do not have the ability to reproduce and are made in their present form.
This may lead many to believe that there are a finite number of angels that have been created and that there may never be any more created by God.
Another key difference that exists between humans and angels is that humans, in their physical form that is bound to earth, experience death. In Biblical explanations, it is believed that Jesus and the angels of heaven will defeat the fallen angels and lock them in the pit of hell.
Neither the angels that dwell in heaven nor the angels that have fallen are bound by death. This further adds to the idea of them not being bound by the physical.
Connotations of Angels
There has been a great distinction created between good and evil. Angels are only ever associated with being good. We even refer to our loved ones as angels because of the virtue and meaning that the word holds.
For a clear distinction to be made between angels that were good and bad, a change of name was in order. Fallen angels were then referred to as demons and angels maintained their name and their status.
While we would never dare call anyone near and dear to us a demon, calling them an angel is a deeply affectionate way of saying that someone holds a pure, unique, and innate goodness.
Different Levels of Angels
In Christian angelology, we see that there are three spheres of angels, and within these three spheres, there are different types of angels. In the first sphere, which are the angels closest to God, there are seraphim, cherubim, and thrones.
In the second sphere of angels, there are dominations, virtues, powers, and authorities. And lastly, in the third sphere, which is closest to man, are principalities, archangels, and angels.
While each sphere exists for a different reason, the spirituality of each and every angel is of utmost importance.
Whether you believe in angels or some sort of spiritual being that is a link between this world and the spiritual, one thing that is guaranteed is that it exists far beyond than our minds can conceive. To understand the existence of angels would mean realizing that they were created by such a great and powerful being, and that they too, like God, live outside the confines of time, space, and matter.