One of the questions that was dropped in our Ask Anything box is one I’d never thought to ask before. Someone asked, “Are more and more angels being created to make up for the increase in population?” Great question! And one that doesn’t have a specific Bible text we can go to for an answer, so we’ll have to look broadly for some help on this one.
The most basic role of an angel is captured in the name itself. It means “messenger” and the Bible is filled with stories of places where both supernatural beings and even human agents were called “angels” or messengers. In addition to being a divine postal service, angelic beings have carried out judgments from God on humanity, provided aid and comfort, and delivered people from danger.
The comes from an idea that each one of us has a guardian angel assigned to watch over and protect us. Psalm 91:11 tells us, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” Jesus himself talked about children having an assigned angel. ““See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)
That idea has been strengthened a great deal for Seventh-day Adventists by comments Ellen White made in her writings. In the devotional book, In Heavenly Places she writes, “Every believer who constantly realizes his dependence on God has his appointed angel, sent from heaven to minister to him. The ministry of these angels is especially essential now, for Satan is making his last desperate effort to secure the world.” (In Heavenly Places, p. 101)
So the idea that I have a guardian angel that is tasked with watching over and guiding me is established in the Bible and has been demonstrated countless times in the lives of believers both in the Bible and afterward. But does that mean that new angels are being created to keep up with the population growth on our planet?
There is a hint in the Bible that the angelic population is fixed rather than growing. In describing the events of Satan’s initial rebellion in heaven, Revelation 14 symbolically depicts the angels as stars and describes Satan sweeping a third of them from heaven. This might suggest a fixed number of angels with one third being fallen and the remaining two thirds remaining loyal to God. On the other hand, this could be referencing the angels created at that time.
It should be pointed out that having a personal guardian angel doesn’t require a one to one relationship. Because angelic beings function in what we describe as the supernatural realm, the physical limitations of time and space are not necessarily applicable to them. While it may not feel as personal, it is certainly possible that one angel may care for more than one person.
We must also consider that whatever number two thirds of the angels represents is large enough to handle the increase in population. We also must remember that as new people are born, others are dying. While there is an overall increase in the human population, there must be some system of reassignment that takes place as well.
In the end, there is much about the organization of the angelic host we just don’t know. Much has been made in the past of naming angels and trying to describe the different orders and classifications. This is beyond what the Bible tells us and not something we should spend too much time speculating on. What we can be sure of is that all the spiritual resources of Heaven have been devoted to our aid and we can be confident of God’s care and protection.