Summary: What does the Bible say about angels? Join Pastor Steve for this insightful study of "God’s Holy Angels."
This morning we are continuing our look at the angelic
world. Having completed a study of "Our Greatest Enemy:
Satan," we are now looking at "God’s Holy Angels."
Billy Graham, in his book Angels: God’s Secret Agents, tells of several accounts where people received help from angels. He writes:
Dr. S.W. Mitchell, a celebrated Philadelphia neurologist, had gone to bed after an exceptionally tiring day. Suddenly he was awakened by someone knocking on his door. Opening it he found a little girl, poorly dressed and deeply upset. She told him her mother was very sick and asked him if he would please come with her. It was a bitterly cold, snowy night, but though he was bone tired, Dr. Mitchell dressed and followed the girl. As Reader’s Digest reports the story, he found the mother desperately ill with pneumonia. After arranging for medical care, he complimented the sick woman on the intelligence and persistence of her little daughter. The woman looked at him strangely and then said, "My daughter died a month ago." She added, "Her shoes and coat are in the clothes closet there." Dr. Mitchell, amazed and perplexed, went to the closet and opened the door. There hung the very coat worn by the little girl who had brought him to tend to her mother. It was warm and dry and could not possibly have been out in the wintry night.
Could the doctor have been called in the hour of desperate need by an angel who appeared as this woman’s young daughter? Was this the work of God’s angels on behalf of the sick woman?
The Reverend John G. Paton, a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, tells a thrilling story involving the protective care of angels. 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?
During World War II, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was shot down over the Pacific ocean. For weeks nothing was heard of him. The newspapers reported his disappearance and across the country thousands of people prayed. Mayor LaGuardia asked the whole city of New York to pray for him. Then he returned. The Sunday papers headlined the news, and in an article, Captain Rickenbacker himself told what had happened. "And this part I would hesitate to tell," he wrote, "except that there were six witnesses who saw it with me. A gull came out of nowhere, and lighted on my head--I reached up my hand very gently--I killed him and then we divided him equally among us. We ate every bit, even the little bones. Nothing ever tasted so good." Years later I asked him to tell me the story personally, because it was through this experience that he came to know Christ. He said, "I have no explanation except that God sent one of His angels to rescue us." (pp.3-4).
Could it be that God dispatched His angels to
Captain Rickenbacker, Reverend Paton and Dr. Mitchell?
The Existence of Angels
"The existence of angels is uniformly presented in Scripture. Thirty four books of the Bible make reference to angels (seventeen in the Old Testament; seventeen in the New Testament. (Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology. p.288).
Jesus was Helped by Angels Following His Temptation
Mat.4:11 - "Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him."
Jesus Referred to the Resurrected State as Comparable to Angels
Mat.22:29-30 - "Jesus answered and said to them, ’You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven."
Jesus Taught that the Angels Would Gather the Nations at the Time of His Return