Summary: ANGELS: They don’t play harps and they don’t play outfield. They are God’s army, and we can learn much about ourselves from their warfare. Link included to entire series in formatted text, w/ handouts, and PowerPoints.
God’s Heavenly Warriors, pt. 1
With 273 verses in scripture dealing with angels, you have to wonder why most preachers don’t deal with the subject anymore.
3 reasons many churches don’t talk about angels:
1. Reaction against speculation.
Theologians are often guilty of dealing w/ questions nobody cares about, that don’t matter. Such as: How many angels can sit on the head of a pin? / How much time passed between the creation of angels and the fall of 1/3rd of them? / Is there a guardian angel assigned to every child born? None of these are addressed in the Bible, but scholars love to talk about them, and it’s a turnoff to most of us who want to know, not what they think, but what God has said!
2. Reaction against the worship of angels by the Roman Catholic Church.
They, of course, worship saints, Mary, and others, in addition to God. But since the 4th C. they have also promoted the worship of angels.
Sept. 29th is a holiday called ’Michael mass’, which focuses on worship of the archangel.
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.
As a knee-jerk reaction, Bible believing churches have been guilty of backing off of the subject of angels, fearing lest they be accused of giving them too much attention. Just like us Baptists are often guilty of backing off of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, just because some other groups have abused it to great extremes.
3. Reaction against paganism.
Did you know that in every known pagan group in the world, the people believe in spirits, demons, and angels? Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and the endless Indonesian and jungle tribes of the world.
Ill.-The pagoda styled roofs in China are that way because they believe demons who try to slide down their roof will stick themselves and not come back! Same concept as with earrings and other piercings.
We’ve now covered the basics about angels, in our first 4 messages-now we get more detailed, and there will be powerful applications to each of us as we go along.
Angels aren’t soft, cloud-clothed babies floating around. They are God’s secret agents, and messengers, and also Warriors!
God sends them on missions to kill and destroy, and to make war, as well as to protect His own.
Ill.--Twice I have had the privilege of leading music in special services for Missionary J.T. Lyons, and heard him tell his now famous story of his experience with angels. [This has been quoted and misquoted in many various forms over the years, so I feel privileged to have the ’inside track’ on the true details of his encounter.] Bro. Lyons spent a lifetime working in Africa, and much of that time in dangerous areas w/ remote tribes, some of which were cannibals and head hunters. He recounted how they warned him they were coming after his family on a certain night, and how all they could do was remain in their hut and pray for God’s protection--but then they heard it, their war cry and their violent approach. They still had children in the home, and these natives were known to rape and abuse before killing their victims. They were prepared to die if it was their time, and willing to do so for their Lord, but they prayed for God’s protection. You get chills when you hear Dr. Lyons tell the story of how their cries and their music just stopped cold. Looking out, he saw them standing motionless, almost as in shock, and then seeing them quickly and quietly retreat back into the jungle. They thanked God for His protection, but it was a year later before they learned what had happened from a chief in that tribe who had just got saved. Bro. Lyons asked him why they didn’t attack that night, and his response was something like this, and now I’m paraphrasing: ’Because of the men who appeared all around your hut.’ When asked whom he was talking about, he said, ’the men you had protecting you, they scared us with their swords and their shining clothing.’