Summary: Our Bible study group got sidetracked on the subject of "angels" I adapted this message to give them a glimpse into whether or not they exist and if so what do they do? Thank you Brian Atwood for such a wonderful message.
The word angel means, "messenger," but although they deliver God’s message, their activity, most often, goes unseen by the human eye. In the NIV they are mentioned in 33 of the 66 books of the Bible.
Even though they mostly operate in the spiritual realm on occasion God sent angels to certain people and they appeared in a visible form.
One of those times for the appearance of the angel was when God wanted to get a message to Zechariah the priest. The angel informed Zechariah that the prayers he and his wife, Elizabeth had been praying, for a child were going to be answered.
The reason for God to send an angel to deliver this message was very important. God was not just answering with the birth of any child, you see, this child was going to be so special to God’s plan for the public ministry of Jesus.
This birth would bring into the world, John the Baptist who would prepare the way for Christ.
Look at verse 12, 13… Notice that the angel told Zechariah, "Don’t be afraid." It appears that the appearance of the angel causes Zechariah’s fear.
Why are humans afraid of angels?
Well think about it for a moment… Angels come from another realm. They’re characteristics aren’t familiar to us even though the Bible most often describes them as being very human-like in their appearance.
Another thing, they don’t make public appearances that often. We often read, in the Bible, that sometimes they showed up because God was using them as messengers of judgment, not just bearers of good news. It could be that Zechariah feared the worst.
I know that some of you might say, "Well if I had been Zechariah I wouldn’t be afraid of an angel!" Really? Maybe not if they actually looked like those puffy cheeked things sitting on the mantle…
For whatever reason, Zechariah’s fear was in response to the presence of the angel in the temple.
Why is it that we are sometimes afraid of the very things that ought to bring us courage?
Many are afraid because they are afraid of what they can’t see.
But in this case, Zechariah was afraid of something he had never seen before.
He believed in angels – but up to this point in his life he had never seen one.
We talk a lot about our spiritually but God doesn’t want our spirituality to be something we just talk about.
He wants it to be something we live. We live in the physical realm and often treat it like it’s the only reality.
What is going on in the spiritual world is just as real and it will last forever while what we see is only temporary.
I want to answer the question, Are angel really among us and if so what do they do?
Today, I want to focus on the visits of the angels and maybe look at why we don’t need to fear angels and other parts of the heavenly realm.
This spiritual environment is going to be going on in heaven, when we get there and we’ll be there forever so we might as well get grip on it.
Just like Zechariah, you don’t have to fear angels or any other spiritual reality.
1. Angels served to communicate God’s Word.
Did you know that angels were involved in revealing God’s law to Moses? When Stephen was talking to his fellow Jews he said in Act 7:53 NIV “you who have received the law that was given through angels…"
Moses wrote down God’s law in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, but he had help. We know the Holy Spirit inspired him, but here we see that one of the ways the Holy Spirit delivered God’s Word through Moses and others was through angels communicating parts of the story from God.
The Bible also makes mention of their similar ministry to Daniel in writing his prophecies and John while writing the book of Revelation.
Not only did angels help Bible writers but they also guided God’s people with His instructions at times.
Angels gave instructions to Joseph about the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1-2)…To the women at the empty tomb of Jesus (Mt. 28, Mk. 16, Lk. 24)…To Philip, one of the deacons in the early church (Acts 8:26), and to Cornelius, a Gentile seeking salvation (Acts 10).
The second answer to our question is this:
2. Angels help provide physical needs and protection.
The angels ministered to Christ after 40 days of fasting and afterward being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
Mat 4:11 NIV - 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
When Elijah the prophet was running from the wicked king and queen of Israel who were trying to kill him, he fell exhausted in the wilderness.