Good Angels, Bad Angels

If Satan can assume the form of a good angel, how do I really know when an angel is good or bad?

Have a question about angels? Email Bill Webber at


For this month's column, I would like to explore the topic of distinguishing good angels from bad angels. I will outline some questions I am often asked and respond with answers found in the Bible.

How can one tell if an angel is a good or evil?

"The Creator willed that there should be communication between angels and men, and as the angels are of two kinds, good and bad, the latter try to win us over to their rebellion and the former endeavor to make us their companions in obedience." (The Catholic Encyclopedia)

If you become aware that there may have been an angel in your life, how can you tell if it is of God or the Evil One?


We are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:14, "Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." In the New Testament telling the difference between the good and bad angels is called the gift of


. (I Corinthians 12:10) Here are some practical guidelines that will help us determine if the message we are receiving is from God. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1).

Here are five ways to help you distinguish between good and bad angels:

1. God and His holy angels will never tell you anything that that contradicts what is found in the Bible (Galatians 1:8).

A favorite way Satan and his angels tempt us is to persuade us to disregard God’s instructions. This pattern began in Genesis 3 when the serpent tempted Eve not to listen to God but to eat the forbidden fruit. The basic way to discern between good and evil angels is this: If it is from God, the message will always agree with the clear teachings of the Bible. 

To illustrate my point, here is a story: Harold had been deeply hurt by his friend Mark. One night Harold had a very vivid dream of an angel who spoke to him, "Don’t get mad. Get even." In the dream a clever plan unfolded showing Harold a way to hurt Mark far more that Harold had been hurt—and no one would know that Harold had been behind it.

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William D. Webber
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