Summary: Angels are all over the OT, the gospels, and Revelation. Why are they strangely absent during Paul’s epistles? Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation.
ANGELS IN THE CHURCH AGE
Rev. 2 & 3 talk about the ‘angels’ of the 7 churches, and the 7 candlesticks. The angels in that context are the pastors…the messengers, the leaders, not literal angels. Angels are present in the church age, and still very important, but on a very different level than every other dispensation.
1. The apostle Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles.
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Paul is the apostle of doctrine for the church age saints. God used him to share w/ US in this dispensation the major doctrines we now hold to.
2. Paul wrote 13 books to church-age saints (Romans-Philemon).
a. There are only about 15 references to angels in all of Paul’s epistles. [epistles are not the wives of the apostles!]
b. In the Old Testament there are well over 100 references to angels.
c. In Matthew-Acts, there are at least 73 references to angels.
d. In Hebrews-Revelation, there are at least 87 references to angels. [mostly in Revelation]
So, the ministry of angels is not emphasized as much during the church age as at other periods of time.
3. Not only this, but in Paul’s references to angels, they are never said to
be ministering unto us. Why is this? In the other sections it’s angels, angels everywhere, but not during the church age. Let’s look into God’s Word and see some of the various ministries that angels have performed and then compare that to the church-age we are presently living in.
Let’s take a bird’s eye tour of the ministry of angels thru the ages, and look for some clues to what’s different today during the church age.
I. Angels are seen giving instruction and understanding. Especially in the OT.
A. An angel instructed Hagar to return to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 16:7-9. This is the first reference to an angel in the Bible. [law of 1st mention]
B. The book of Zechariah is a perfect example of an angel giving instruction and understanding (Zec 1:8-11, 1:14, 1:18-19, 4:1-7, 6:1-5)
C. In Daniel 10, Daniel sought for understanding and an angel appears three weeks later to give Daniel answers to his questions.(Dan 10:12-14)
D. Joseph was mystified when Mary said she was pregnant of the Holy Ghost, and then an angel gave him understanding.
II. Do angels give us instruction and understanding in this present church-age?
We need these things, but angels are not our source today. Let’s see what the apostle of doctrine to the church says:
A. Rom. 8:26 confirms our weakness and need for understanding.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
We have another resource…God the Holy Spirit, who teaches and instructs us, and helps guide us to a place of understanding.
I Cor. 2:9-14 [turn]
The Spirit is much better than an angel. The OT saints didn’t have the indwelling Spirit of God, nor will those in the tribulation!
The Holy Spirit is the best teacher of the Word of God…after all, He wrote it!
B. Paul teaches that the believer is in Christ, and Christ is in the believer. And in Christ are hid the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. That’s how we can have understanding.
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
We are complete in Christ, and so we need no instruction of an angel. We have the completed Word of God which Paul says is for our instruction, and the Spirit helps us understand it!