Elon Musk has been a strong supporter of Ukraine in its defense against Russia the aggressor in this nearly eight-month war. But he is now being heavily criticized for a recent, four-point proposal for ending it. In a Twitter dialogue today, he said, “There are no angels in war.” We know what he means, that there is often cruelty on both sides in warfare. But if you take Musk’s remark literally, it’s not true according to the Bible.
The Bible relates that there are many angels and only a few archangels in heaven. The Bible names only two angels: Michael and Gabriel (Daniel 8.16; 9.21; 10.13, 21; 12.1; Luke 1.19, 26; Jude 1.9). The book of Daniel in the Old Testament reveals that both God’s elite angels and Satan’s elite angels, both groups as “princes,” are often in conflict here on earth as they seek to influence heads of human governments, such as kings. But such conflict can even erupt among all of the angels in heaven.
The book of Revelation in the Bible’s New Testament predicts, “And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12.7-9 NRSV). I believe this prophecy has not occurred yet and that it will during the last 3.5 years of this age, as its context suggests, (vv. 6, 12, 14).
So, Mr. Musk, there can be angels in war, and some of them may be wicked and some of them may be righteous and thereby fight on the side of good.