It’s a simple question. How might the average Christian answer this?
For me, it’s exceedingly difficult to speculate why angels use chariots, if I am trying to force a typical hardline Christian response that relegates the origin of an angel’s existence to being entirely separate from the physical universe.
Because I believe angels exist within the physical universe, or more accurately, multi-verse. I believe this because the Bible, and science, agree on this matter of matter.
Only God can exist outside of time-space, because He created time-space as the home for all the entities He created to live within it. As for time-space, I don’t think of it as a universe, but rather a multi-verse, and this enigmatic thing we call matter is trans-dimensional. Matter vibrates at different frequencies, and it has many properties we do not understand, but quantum physics and advanced mathematics are beginning to catch up with the Bible regarding the aspect of parallel/alternate dimensions.1
Pythagorean’s Theorem is A2 + B2 = C2, which applies to the hypotenuse of a two dimensional right triangle. Interestingly enough, Pythagorean’s Theorem also applies to a three dimensional cube! A2 + B2 + C2 = D2. Mathematically, we can deduce that this theorem can be applied to distances that extend into the fourth dimension and beyond. A2 + B2 + C2 + D2 = E2, but what does that even mean? The famous mathematician Riemann took this ball and ran with it back in 1854.2 We cannot visualize multidimensional hyperspace objects, but we can certainly calculate them!
Using advanced mathematics well beyond this simple example, our minds are capable of perceiving and calculating things that transcend the confines of our existence. For quite some time, physicists calculated our multiverse to ten dimensions using math associated with Superstring Theory,3 but now they think it’s more likely eleven dimensions, using math associated with M Theory.4
We have discovered strange things like quantum entanglement,5 and we received bizarre results with thought experiments like Schrodinger’s cat.6-7 Sound was recently discovered to be one of the most fundamental particles in existence.8 This makes sense even from a Biblical perspective, because in the beginning, God said. The instant God spoke in Genesis 1:1, phonons were created, thus, the sound of God’s Word provided the foundation for everything else that followed.
And the second fundamental particle in all creation is light. Photons exist because God said let there be light.
Is light a wave, or a particle?
In the quantum realm, the issue of physicality and solidity dissipates, as atoms are dissected into an ever-increasing microscopic, nanosecond reality.
Light and sound both exist in heaven. The Bible is adamantly clear about this. Do I really need to provide Scriptures to support this statement? The Bible exaggerates this with over-the-top imagery; rainbows (Revelation 4:3), and exotic substances like transparent gold (Revelation 21:21), and precious gems are everywhere in heaven (Revelation 21:19).
Songs and divine music fill the atmosphere of heaven (Revelation 5:8-14). God’s voice is like thunder and waterfalls (Psalm 42:7; Revelation 14:2); there are a lot of sounds in heaven!
Every single description of heaven mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, absolutely require the existence of sound and light. To suggest otherwise, would liken heaven to the outer darkness, and it most certainly is not that.
When God first initiated His act of creation, He applied the attributes of sound and light to His very nature, because God is the Word (John 1:1), and He is also light (1 John 1:5), even before He was incarnated into a body of flesh and blood in the person of Jesus Christ. However, God has the ability to shed these physical attributes at will if He so desires, because they are elements of His creation, which He transcends.
That said, I might be wrong, but I do not think the Bible says anything about any other entity in all of creation that has the ability to exit time-space altogether. Angels certainly have the ability to pop in and out of our presence, fly, and/or levitate, among other things, and this may give the illusion of vanishing from time-space altogether, but I seriously doubt that is what is going on.
Angels might be able to teleport, or perhaps adjust their dimensional frequency to a higher level of glory, as angelic chariots did in 2 Kings 6:14-22. Doing these things makes them invisible, but being invisible or teleporting from one location to another does not necessarily mean they are transcending the confines of time-space altogether. It also does not mean that they shed their composition of matter; rather, they adjust it, or relocate it, probably through a quantum singularity.
Angels are not the Creator; they do not have unlimited power, nor are they omnipresent. God is the Creator, and because of this, He had to exist outside the confines of time-space before He spoke it into existence. Genesis 1:1 makes this clear; this is actually one of the very first facts established in the first verse of the Bible. Other Scriptures, such as Psalm 57:5, continue to illustrate the point.
Angels are created beings, existing within the confines of the heavens (Nehemiah 9:6).10 They are included in God’s creation of all things “visible and invisible” (Colossians 1:16), but God is not a created being. He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:22), the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13); He created everything, and therefore predates and transcends the heavens. He is exalted above the heavens (Psalm 57:5). This does not apply to angels.
Despite these arguments, many Christians will argue adamantly that angels are “spiritual” beings, and they think of this as synonymous with “non-physical,” without addressing the quantum nature of matter. Some of this confusion comes from an oversimplification of Jesus’ explanation that angels are “spirits,” and they don’t have bodies like us (Luke 24:39).11 Note, Jesus did not say angels do not have bodies at all; rather, He simply pointed out the obvious. Angels are different than us.
I argue, based on Scripture and science, that “spiritual” bodies are not “non-physical” bodies; rather, spirits are composed of a type of matter. How else could they coalesce as a free roaming consciousness, without a type of body?
The typical argument suggests that angels “become physical” at will, from a “non-physical” existence, using their powers. Doing this, they manifest in this physical universe, perhaps with temporary bodies, popping in and out of time-space at will, to do whatever it is they do here. When they disappear, returning to their heavenly abode, they are no longer physical, and no longer associated with the physical universe in any way, shape, or form. Instead, they are like dreams; gases; wisps of energy in the wind…
This perception, however, does not resonate with the Bible’s clear description of the heavens, which are jam packed with sound and light, among many other things that require elements of matter, albeit glorified and/or resonating at a higher frequency.
Heaven is indeed a physical place populated by physical entities, and Christians should get used to thinking of our own physical universe, and our physical bodies within it, as a subset of a much larger multi-verse. This multi-verse concept is far more accommodating to both modern scientific and theological reason, when faced with the question that started this diatribe.
Consider the fact that our physical bodies serve as a physical interface for our spirits. Exactly how does a “non-physical” spirit integrate within a physical body, if it has nothing to integrate with?
Also consider other tidbits listed in Scripture, like physical people taken to heaven, then returning to Earth again. The Two Witnesses are a case in point. Whoever they are, Enoch, Elijah, or Moses, all began as flesh and blood human beings on Earth, they were taken to heaven, and they will bodily return back to Earth in the future (Revelation 11).
Not only that, what would be the point of a physical resurrection of the dead, to exist in a non-physical reality (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)? How will a non-physical New Jerusalem be relocated to the physical Earth in the future (Revelation 21)?
I say all these things, providing Scriptures, and even referring to advanced science, to illustrate my point, yet many Christians will not concede to the simple notion that angles are composed of a type of matter, and they exist within the confines of God’s physical creation, albeit resonating at a higher frequency.
The bizarre phenomenon of quantum entanglement should be enough to raise an eyebrow, that there’s more to matter than meets the eye, but even so, the old-school paradigm of heaven being absolutely, unequivocally separate from the physical universe, persists unabated.
Now many Christians will at least concede that angels are real, actual entities. So if one backs up from all the “spiritual” talk, and agrees to this very basic assessment of angels, let me return to the original question.
Why do angels use chariots? If something is “spiritual,” and that relates to a “non-physical” nature, void of matter, why would a spiritual entity require a chariot?
Or is it a “non-physical” chariot? Or wait, was a temporary chariot created to accommodate temporary bodies? How far does this overly simplistic reasoning go?
If angels are real entities, and they can appear anywhere within time-space at will, why would they create a chariot? A chariot – even a 2000 year old chariot – is still a piece of technology used for transportation and warfare. The Bible speaks of angelic chariots in several places.
There are flying chariots piloted by angels from the heavens (Ezekiel 1, 10; 2 Kings 2:11-12; 1 Chronicles 28:18), and they happen to have a rocket-like noise and association with fire (2 Kings 6:17; etc.). These unusual chariots use directional anti-gravity beams in some cases, taking people up inside of them (Ezekiel 8:3; 11:24).
Elijah may have even been “taken up” routinely (1 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 2:16). The same could have happened with the Prophet Enoch (Genesis 5:24), and in the New Testament, maybe that’s what happened with the Apostle Philip (Acts 8:39). We might also see angelic chariots taking up the Two Witnesses in the future (Revelation 11:12).
Angelic chariots have interesting properties, like selective cloaking technology, and the ability to hypnotize an entire army (2 Kings 6:14-22).
Most of these Biblical narrations involving angelic chariots do not read like metaphors, or allegories. Instead, they tell stories of something astonishing taking place. Elijah prayed that his servant’s eyes be opened, to see something that was invisible to everyone else.
When Elijah’s servant saw these chariots floating in the sky, engulfed in fire, he was utterly shocked to the core! He saw something that was really there, floating in the sky, and that something, whatever it was, mentally zapped an entire army and made them all hyper-suggestable. That wasn’t a symbol, or an allegory that did that. It was the mental manipulation of angels floating in their sky chariots.
Later on, Elijah wasn’t abducted by a metaphor. He was whipped up off the ground and sucked up inside one of these sky chariots, right in front of Elisha. Elisha totally lost it, ripping up his clothes, and freaking out when he witnessed this!
Regardless of these Scriptures I am referring to, and the logic, and even scientific consistency of my argument, many Christians still insist on this notion of heaven being entirely separate from any kind of physical reality. It is a mysterious cloud of confusion that enshrouds this topic, and the underlying reason may be an unconscious defense mechanism, resisting the idea that angels and extraterrestrials (ETs) are very likely the same entities.
Addressing the definition of physicality, and the nature of matter, strikes at the heart of this issue, because it removes one of the defining elements that distinguish angels from extraterrestrials.
Most Christians think of angels as “non-physical,” and ETs, if they exist, are physical, biological entities. However, if angels are in fact composted of a type of matter, and they are physical, yet dimensionally shifted to higher plane of existence, then they most certainly can be construed as ETs. They might be ETs living in another dimension, but they are still physical dimensions, and they are still biological entities.
So now again, let me return to the original question, why do angels use chariots?
Might it be possible for angels to resort to using technology for the same reasons humans use it? Isn’t technology simply the natural expression of intelligence in a physical universe?
Intelligent beings apply clever reasoning and scientific principles to create things that enhance efficiencies, improve processes, and overcome obstacles presented by their physical environments. So if angels exist in a physical environment, even one that resonates at a higher frequency, is it not a reasonable assessment, that they would develop technologies in their physical environments?
Just think how intelligent and ancient the angels are, these entities that existed before the foundations of the Earth (Job 38).
Now many might argue, why would angels use technology? Angels have powers, they don’t need technology!
But if that’s the case, why do they fly around in chariots?
Furthermore, do we really know what sort of powers angels can wield, and what limits they might have?
To answer this, let’s back up and analyze what we have going on in the Earth with humanity. After all, Scripture states that one way we can understand the heavens, is to carefully observe God’s creation, in this natural realm (Romans 1:20).
Consider the “spiritual gifts” of believers listed in 1 Corinthians 12. Some spiritual gifts involve supernatural powers. It is likely that these gifts/powers will be natural abilities that humans will be capable of when we are glorified in the future. God currently gives these gifts to us in limited doses, as evidence of our glorious future that awaits. That said, angels, being the glorified entities that they are, most likely have similar gifts/powers that we would construe as supernatural if we witnessed them.
Even with these supernatural abilities, like healing, and miraculous powers, does that mean glorified beings have unlimited power?
Even with powers, there are very likely still many instances where technology may come in handy. The simple example of a wireless remote control can illustrate this point. We sit in our recliners and use a remote to change the channel, not because we are incapable of walking to the TV and changing the channel like we did in the 70’s and early 80’s. We sit in our chairs and scroll through the channels with a remote, because it’s convenient, and it conserves energy. We drive our vehicles to work, not because we can’t walk, but because driving gets us to where we want to go a lot quicker.
There is therefore no reason to suggest why angels would not use technology for this same basic principle. Energy is energy, and the desire to conserve it and/or use it wisely due to various limitations is probably a universal principle that pertains to all life. If there is any exception to this, it would be God. God is all powerful (Colossians 1:6-7; Hebrews 1:3; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:9; Isaiah 44:24), but even He rested on the seventh day after He created everything (Genesis 2:2-3).
With all of these details provided, I think it is safe to say that angels use chariots because they need them. They facilitate their travel to and from Earth much quicker than they could come and go without them. If this were not so, there would be no need for these angelic chariots.
So angels use chariots that are capable of traveling incomprehensible distances at incomprehensible speeds through the vastness of the multi-dimensional cosmos. What more might one ask regarding angelic chariots?
The Bible states that angelic chariots fly and can turn invisible, they are often associated with fire and thunderous noise, and they manipulate gravity on both themselves and on people below them. These are indeed some odd chariots, unlike any normal chariot of the day.
Might it be feasible to suggest that the word “chariot” was used generically, like the word “vehicle,” because these sky chariots were angelic transportation devices, and “chariot” was the closest word the ancient Hebrews had to refer to a transportation device?
With that in mind, these chariots were flying, so why would they have traditional wheels designed to roll on the ground? They probably didn’t. I suggest that they probably didn’t look like traditional chariots at all. Why would they? Would it make any sense if they did?
Moreover, a flying chariot would not depend on horses to pull it. Flying chariots were already manipulating gravity to float and fly in the sky, and doing that requires a lot more than literal horsepower.
Consider the horses in question, described as “horses of fire” (2 Kings 6:8-23). Is it unconscionable to suggest that “horses of fire” is a very apt description for the generic, ancient comprehension of propulsion? To ancient minds seeing flying vehicles with lightning and fire flashing all around them, they knew they were transportation devices for angels, and something had to be moving them.
The flashy fire and light show was probably the source of power that moved them, so it makes perfect sense that they would use terminology like “horses of fire” as a generic reference to “propulsion,” just as “chariot” is a generic reference to “vehicle.” These are the wandering thoughts that swarmed through my mind many years ago as I first contemplated these things.
Noted ancient astronaut theorist, Erich Von Daniken, was the first to point out the obvious with some of my above reasoning in his book, Chariots of the Gods. However, Erich went a step further when he demoted the God of the Bible to the status of a created being, and that was entirely unnecessary!
I suspect it is also the reason why so many Christians are resistant to thinking of angels as ETs.
I am pointing out a course correction here, trying to redeem Erich Von Daniken’s ancient astronaut research, which by and large has been hijacked by non-Christians. With every episode of Ancient Aliens, the frizzy-haired producer, Giorgio Tsoukalos, repeats the mantra, that all the religions in the world are mistaken; there is no God, there are only powerful ETs.
I believe Giorgio is right about the existence ETs from antiquity, but he is wrong about God.
God is God; He is in a class all by Himself as the creator of the universe and all life within it! However, Christians should understand, it is possible to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life, and still believe in the Bible, because the Bible talks about angels throughout, and it distinguishes them as subordinate to God.
The Bible also uses other terms, such as stars (Job 38:7; Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 1:4, 3:1), creatures (Isaiah 6:2-7; Genesis 3:24; Revelation 4:6-8), and the host of heaven (Psalm 148:2; 1 Kings 22:19-22; 2 Chronicles 18:18-21; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 46:12; Daniel 8:10; Luke 2:13; ), when referring to the incalculable number of lifeforms in the heavens, i.e. outer space, (Genesis 1:14).
Angels exist within the confines of God’s creation, and they are subject to limitations, so it stands to reason that angels are a subset of extraterrestrials. I say subset, because the Bible classifies angels as immortal and non-reproductive (Luke 20:36), whereas not all aliens necessarily have those attributes. That said, all angels are immortal, non-reproductive aliens, (probably the most advanced and powerful), but not all aliens are angels.
Many aliens are reproductive just like ufologists think they are; they would be no different than Adam and Eve were before they sinned. Others might also have been deceived by the devil, and they are fallen species just like us. Perhaps these are among those sheep of another fold Jesus spoke about (John 10:16)? This second category of aliens might not be angels, but in Biblical terminology, they can be referenced with the term “host of heaven.”
Regarding the aspect of reproduction, there is nothing in the Bible to suggest that angels weren’t originally reproductive as Adam and Eve, then they went through a metamorphosis, i.e. translation process, that translated them into a higher level of glory, where reproduction is no longer an activity they partake in.
Consider the scenario, what if Adam and Eve never sinned? We already know, God plans to translate believers in the future, into a non-reproductive, fully glorified, fully immortal nature, just like angels (Luke 20:36). That was most likely the original plan, even if Adam and Eve had never sinned. Because of this, I do not think it is too farfetched to suggest the idea that angelic civilizations on other worlds followed this same pattern. They were initially created to reproduce after their own kind, but then they went through a metamorphosis/translation process, like spiritual butterflies.
Fully matured, they are immortal, no longer reproduce, they might not need to eat anymore, and they develop amazing powers. However, prior to their metamorphosis/translation, they require a substance provided from trees of life to sustain their existence. They also reproduce with natural generations of families.
The vast assortment of life on Earth should be enough to conclude, there is an incomprehensible assortment of life in the cosmos, with varying levels of attributes, power, and glory, resonating at different frequencies in the multi-verse. Some are glorified, others are not; some have remained faithful to God, while others have been deceived.
The universe is estimated to have 70 billion trillion stars, or 70 septillion in the American numbering system (7 followed by 25 zeros).12 Take that and pick a number for how many orbiting plants have life, then multiply that by the number of life forms on each planet, multiplied by the number of dimensions that exist within the multi-verse.
That’s a lot of life!
God is big! His creation and the life within it are incomprehensibly vast.
For Christians, it is that vast realm that awaits. There are countless glorified worlds, and in the center of it all, we will one day reside in the capital city of that multi-verse creation.
And we will most likely take trips from time to time, flying in our own angelic chariots, skipping about from one solar system to the next, or as the Bible puts it, “walking amidst the stones of fire” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
- Dr. Kaku, Michio, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, New York: NY, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1994.
- Ibid, pp. 37-38.
- Ibid, p. 16
- Wolchover, N., & Quanta Magazine moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive. (2020, October 16). Why Is M-Theory the Leading Candidate for Theory of Everything? Quanta Magazine. http://www.quantamagazine.org/why-is-m-theory-the-leading-candidate-for-theory-of-everything-20171218/
- ScienceDaily. (n.d.). Quantum entanglement. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/quantum_entanglement.htm#:~:text=Quantum%20entanglement%20is%20a%20quantum,physical%20properties%20of%20the%20systems
- What did Schrodinger’s Cat experiment prove? Science Questions with Surprising Answers. (n.d.). https://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/07/30/what-did-schrodingers-cat-experiment-prove/
- Cutnell, John D., Johnson, Kenneth W., Physics, 3rd Edition, New York: NY, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1995, p. 936. In 1925, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger (1887 – 1961) and German physicist Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976) independently developed theoretical frameworks for determining the wave function. Their work in this effort established a new branch of physics called quantum mechanics.
- Does Information Carry Mass? Unified Science Course. (n.d.). https://www.resonancescience.org/blog/does-information-carry-mass.
- Harris, Norman C., Hemmerling, Edwin M., Malimann, A. James, Physics Principles and Applications, 5th Edition, New York: NY, Gregg Division, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1990, pp. 521-595.
- Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them? Zondervan Academic. (n.d.). https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/biblical-facts-angels
- How Many Stars are There in the Universe? Sky & Telescope. (2020, September 24). https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-resources/how-many-stars-are-there/