What Do Angels Look Like?
In order to perform the work assigned to them by the Lord, angels seem to require a physical body much like humans. Angelic beings, as well as demons, seem to be relatively, if not totally powerless without these bodies. In both the Old and New Testaments, whenever angels or demons communicated with man, they appeared in bodily, visible form. They probably did this so as not to frighten the people with whom they attempted to communicate.
When we study the fallen angels, we find these demons also once possessed bodies before they fell and rebelled against God. But after these angels rebelled against the Almighty, one of their punishments was that God took their bodies away, and rendered them powerless, except when God permitted them to assume another bodily form.
In Genesis 6, the sons of God (angelic beings) through a vicious union with the daughters of men, produced a race of incarnated beings called giants. The word “giants” in Genesis 6 is “Nephilim,” from the Hebrew word, “Naphal,” which means “to fall.” Giants, then, are these fallen ones — demons possessing human bodies. So serious was this matter that God destroyed the whole population of these fallen beings and consigned these wicked spirits into a prison house from which they will not be delivered until after the Church of Jesus Christ has been raptured.
In Jesus’ day demons often took up home in the bodies of men. The man possessed with demons at Gadara is only one of many instances which demonstrate that they need bodies in order to operate. You will remember, because of the curse of God upon these fallen angels, they are disembodied spirits, and must always seek a body through which to operate. When Jesus cast them out of the pathetic man at Gadara, they dreaded returning to their disembodied state so much that they begged the Lord that they might enter into a herd of swine. They felt it was better to live in the bodies of swine than be disembodied. Again, when Satan came to destroy the Lord, he needed a body, so he entered into Judas. John tells tells us, “Then entered Satan into Judas,” and we know that when Satan makes his last final desperate attempt to destroy the Lord Jesus in the Tribulation, it will again be through a man, the man of sin, the antichrist — the incarnation of the Devil himself.
So we believe that angels do indeed have bodies. What kind of bodies we may not know, but they need be neither physical nor spiritual bodies. God is not limited to those things which we poor humans can understand. Only when we reach heaven will we know. If it is hard to accept this, then be reminded that it is not easy to imagine either what our resurrection bodies will be like. We are told that at the resurrection we will receive bodies “like unto Jesus’ body.” That certainly is not a body anything like ours. He could leave the tomb without breaking the seal; He could be one place now and miles away the next instant; He could walk on the water and not sink; He could eat but did not have to; He could rise straight up into the air into heaven from Mt. Olivet without wings or any other propulsion.
We shall be like Him, which in and of itself is a welcoming thought. One of these days we will hear the shout, drop off these old, weary, aging, pain-wracked bodies like an old garment, and with our new bodies that will never grow hungry or cold, that will never thirst nor suffer, never be weary nor tired, that shall never be subject to passion or sin, we shall rise to meet Him, and all the loved ones with Him.
Then and only then will we know for sure what the angels truly look like. Until then, we must wait and hope!