As we learned previously, angels are positioned to guard and protect individual believers, announce coming events and instruct persons, but angels are not to be worshipped. They themselves are worshippers of God. This is made clear throughout the scriptures as is revealed by the Psalmist, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalms 33:6) Peter affirmed this in I Peter 3:22, speaking of Jesus being the supreme authority, “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
Likewise Nehemiah, in the Old Testament, writes that God made and maintains all: heaven, earth, seas, angels and man. “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” (Nehemiah 9:6)
The apostle Paul confirms this thought in the New Testament, warning believers to use caution and not to be deceived into worshipping angels. “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,” (Colossians 2:18)
When the people rebelled against God, during the time of Moses, the scriptures reveal that they made the mistake of worshiping angels. God, at a certain point, gave up on them and allowed them to worship the host of heaven, as is referred to in the book of Acts. It states: “Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets,” (Acts 7:42)
One evil king, who was involved in angel worship, is presented in the Old Testament. It is Hezekiah’s son Manasseh, who did evil in the sight of the Lord. “For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up alters for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.” (II Chronicles 33:3) Manasseh, after much hardship, later repented and was forgiven.
Two instances are given in the book of Revelation where an angel told John that he was not to worship him, because he was only a servant (as was John). “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) And, again “And I John saw these things, And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” (Revelation 22:8-9)
The Bible makes the position of the angels clear. In contrast to Jesus, in the book of Hebrews, it is obvious whom is to be worshipped and why. “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:4-8)
God stipulates, in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, that he is the creator even of the angels and he has named them all. “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? Saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” (Isaiah 40:25-26)