The Angel of Death

The Bible nowhere teaches that there is a particular angel who is in charge of death or who is present whenever a person dies. Angels may be sent to cause death. For example, the passage in Second Kings 19:35, describes an angel putting to death 185,000 Assyrians who had invaded Israel.

Another passage that mentions that an angel caused death is found in Exodus chapter 12. Here, the angel of God destroyed the firstborns of Egypt. While the Bible describes angels causing death at the command of the Lord, Scripture nowhere teaches that there is a specific angel of death.

Angels are subject to God and are limited in their powers, knowledge, and activities (1 Peter 1:11-12; Revelation 7:1). Like all of creation, angels are under God’s authority and subject to His judgment at all times (1 Corinthians 6:3; Matthew 25:41).

Angels are created beings that are a little higher than man (Hebrews 2:7). They are spiritual beings (Hebrews 1:14) without physical bodies but at times take a physical form to appear to men (Genesis 19:1). The Bible does not state that angels are created in the image and likeness of God, as humans are (Genesis 1:26). Good angels are sent by God for the ministry of believers (Hebrews 1:14).

God alone is sovereign over the timing of man’s death. He declares, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18). This declaration is especially meaningful in view of the fact that He “was dead.” “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.” “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Christ’s resurrection is the assurance that the righteous will rise “in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:24) to life everlasting (John 12:25; Rev. 1:5). No angel or demon can in any sense cause man’s death before the time God has willed it to occur.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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