Angels: God’s Messengers


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Angels: God’s Messengers

The late Evangelist Billy Graham wrote in his book “Angels, God’s Secret Agents” about John G. Paton, a Missionary to the New Hebrides Islands. He wrote:

“Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them. John Paton and his wife prayed all during that terror filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see the attackers unaccountably leave. They thanked God for delivering them. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men you had with you there?” The missionary answered, “There were no men there; just my wife and I.” The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard-hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack. Only then did Mr. Paton realize that God had sent his angels to protect them. The chief agreed that there was no other explanation. Could it be that God had sent a legion of angels to protect His servants, whose lives were being endangered?”

You might be tempted to think this was just a figment of the chief’s imagination – but the chief’s army also saw these shining soldiers. This is not without a Biblical precedent.

In the book of 2 Kings we see an interesting account that mirrors what happened in John Paton’s life. The Kingdom of Syria and the Kingdom of Israel were at war with one another. Every time the King of Syria met in secret with his general to plan an attack on Israel, the Prophet Elisha knew what was going on. Why? Because he was a Prophet of God! Well Elisha would contact the King of Israel and say “Don’t go in this direction, for the King of Syria has set a trap there”. This went on for a while, and the King of Syria got fed up. He asked his men, “How is this possible that our battle plans keep getting to the Israelites?” His servants replied:

2 Kings 6:12 (KJV) …. Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

The problem is Elisha! He somehow knows what we say in secret. The King of Syria said, “In that case, go and get this Elisha and bring him here.” So a troop of soldiers – heavily armed – set out to capture God’s Prophet.

2 Kings 6:15-16 (KJV) And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

I am sure that Elisha’s servant thought that his master had gone crazy. Elisha saw the look on his servant’s face. Instead of arguing with the servant, Elisha went to God in prayer. He prayed:

2 Kings 6:17 (KJV) … LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

God sent a host of angels to protect His servant Elisha. These angels don’t sound like the feminized angels that we see portrayed with heart shaped wings, nor do they look like the little baby kissing angels that women like to collect as statuettes in curio cabinets. A silly and fanciful angel would not frighten away a host of battle hardened Syrians.

In 2 Kings 19 the Bible tells us that Sennacherib the King of Assyria brought 185,000 armed soldiers to attack and destroy Jerusalem. We are told that:

2 Kings 19:32-36 (KJV) …. thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

One angel – the Angel of the Lord – attacked the army of 185,000 and destroyed it in one night. This a powerful being containing unfathomable power.

Humans have created strange doctrines about angels – doctrines not taught in Scripture. One statement I have heard is when a loved one dies “Heaven gained another angel”. I am sure that the statement is made innocently enough, but it is not in accordance with the Scripture.

Do those “saved by faith in Christ” born again of the Spirit of God become angels when they die?

No, they do not. The Bible teaches that God created two distinct sets of intelligent beings. There are ANGELS and there are HUMANS.

Hebrews 12:22-23 (KJV) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, AND to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Angels are sexually different from humans. God made humanity “in His own image … male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:26-28, 31). Humans were created with the capacity to reproduce, and in fact were commanded to “multiply and fill the earth”. Angels were never given this ability, nor were angels made in God’s image. Jesus said that when humans enter God’s glory that we lose the ability to reproduce. He said:

Matthew 22:30 (KJV) For in the resurrection {departed humans} neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Luke 20:34-36 (KJV) Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

When we get to Heaven we will be equal in power to the angels with one distinct difference – we will be the Children of God.

Humans are flesh and bone. Adam was created by God from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). God told Adam (and us) “you were made from dust, and to dust you will return”. The Bible tells us that angels are “ministering SPIRITS”:

Hebrews 1:13-14 (KJV) But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Our Lord Jesus said that “Spirits do not have flesh and bones”.

Luke 24:39 (KJV) {Jesus said} Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

When angels were seen and reported in Scripture they are spoken of as beings of light. The angel that rolled back the stone from Christ’s grave is described:

Matthew 28:2-3 (KJV) … the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow…

Angels can take on the appearance of man – and have done so in the Scripture. Angels sometimes take on this appearance and walk among us, which is why we are warned:

Hebrews 13:1-2 (KJV) Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Though angels can appear to be human they have one distinction that makes them different from us. Jesus Christ did not die for sins of the angels.

Can the Angels that fell from Heaven following Satan in rebellion be saved?

Hebrews 2:9 (KJV) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Jesus was made lower than the angels. Angels are far superior to us in power (remember the 185,000 killed by one angel?). When angels fell from Heaven rebelling against God there was no provision made to redeem them. A fallen angel is a fallen angel. Period. But God offers salvation to whosoever will:

Galatians 4:45, 7 (KJV) … when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Angels are called “Sons of God” in the Scripture because they are created by God. They are also called the Morning Stars because they are composed of light. We read in:

Job 38:4-7 (KJV) Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

All the sons of God (the angels) shouted for joy when God created the earth.

Theologians tells us that based on:

Genesis 2:1 (KJV) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

that all the host of them refers to angels. If so, all the angels were created at the same time by God. When the Chief Angel Lucifer (also called the Devil, Satan, and the Great Red Dragon) rebelled that he led one third of the angels to follow him.

Revelation 12:3-4 (KJV) And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: …

Some of these rebellious angels were placed in chains of darkness, reserved until the judgment day:

2 Peter 2:4 (KJV) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Jude 1:6 (KJV) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

What Do The Fallen Angels Do On This Present Earth?

Some of the fallen angels, along with Lucifer also known as Satan, remain on this earth to vex and try the saints of God:

Ephesians 6:10-12 (KJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

All fallen angels will one day be cast into the Lake of Fire along with those who reject Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus told us that on judgment day:

Matthew 25:41 (KJV) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

The wording that Jesus used tells us that God never designed hell for humans, but for fallen angels. God does not want any human to end up in hell. This is a choice that each person freely makes by either accepting or rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Our God loves variety. You see His love of variety in the animal kingdom, in the plant kingdom, among the fishes and birds, and among humans. No human is exactly the same. God loves variety. The Chief Angel in Heaven is called an Arch-Angel. The scripture says:

Ezekiel 28:14-17 (KJV) Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

Are All Angels The Same?

Lucifer was called a Covering Cherub or the Anointed Cherub that Covereth. He, along with Michael and Gabriel were Arch-Angels, those who ruled all the other angels under the authority of God. The name “Lucifer” means Shining One. Lucifer is not a hideous monster, nor is he a cute little devil with a red tail. He is beautiful beyond measure – beauty gone bad.

The Cherubim have four faces (man, lion, ox, eagle), four wings (two to fly with), and cloven calflike feet. They move about in groups of four, guarding God’s Throne. (see Ezekiel 1:4-28; 10:1-22).

The Seraphim have six wings (two to fly with). Their name means “burning ones” and they lead heavenly worship and singing. (see Isaiah 6:1-7).

Of the fallen angels, Satan has divided them into groups called ruling angels. They are classified as principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:10-12).

There are guardian angels that watch over saved believers and children under the age of accountability.

Matthew 18:10 (KJV) Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Hebrews 1:14 (KJV) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

There are other angels mentioned in Scripture beyond Arch-Angels, Cherubin, Seraphim, and Guardian Angels. These angels:

  • Lead worship and praise (Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4-5).
  • Revealing the will of God (Acts 7:52-53)
  • Guiding God’s people. An angel told Joseph about the virgin birth of Jesus (Matthew 1-2). See also Acts 8:26; Acts 10:1-8.
  • Angels provide for God’s people. An angel ministered to Hagar (Genesis 21:17-20), Elijah (1 Kings 19:6), and even ministered to Jesus Christ following His temptation (Matthew 4:11).
  • Angels protect God’s people. They shut the mouths of the lions for Daniel. (Daniel 3).
  • Angels delivered the Apostles (Acts 5, Acts 12).
  • God sometimes uses angels to answer our prayers (Daniel 9:20-24; 10:10-12; Acts 12:1-17).

Are Angels As Powerful As God?

NO! Angels are stronger than men, but are not all powerful (Psalm 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11). They have a greater knowledge than we do, for the have access to the Throne room of God. But they do not know all things (2 Samuel 14:20; Matthew 24:36). Though angels can travel faster than us, they are not able to be everywhere at the same time as God is (Daniel 9:21-23; 10:10-14). They are created as we are created. They are just made different. The devil and his demons have no power greater than what our Father allows them to have. Praise God for His unspeakable gift of salvation!

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A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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