Summary: We live in a culture fascinated by angels. What does the Bible say about what they really do?
The Unseen World #1
“The Work of angels”
1. Illus. of “Ask Your Angels” by Alma Daniel
• One of the more popular books on angels of a few years back.
• Believes that by tuning in to the wisdom of unseen “angels” we can find solutions to personal and world problems.
• How does one get in touch with their angel? There is a 5-stage process summarized by the acrostic g-r-a-c-e. Grounding (meditating on your chakras), releasing (earthbound spiritual vibrations such as fear and guilt), aligning (focusing on the spirit world by means of chanting), conversing (holding a mental conversation with your angel), and enjoying (living a life of joy by practicing the instructions your angel gives you).
• In one Baptist church I visited, there was a copy of this book in the church library!
2. Need: Our society is fascinated with the subject of angels, and this includes many Christian people. Unfortunately, this fascination may not be all that good for us. Any information about angels that does not come from the scripture can be an opportunity for the evil one to work in our lives.
3. How should Christians relate to angels? We are told in scripture
Don’t worship them (Text).
Don’t pray to them.
Don’t make too much of them. Christ must be the center of our spiritual focus, not any created being.
4. Having said all that, I want to ask this question today: “what exactly are angels supposed do?” The Bible mentions angels about 300 times. We can’t look at all these references, but let me summarize them into five statements.
I. ANGELS DELIVER MESSAGES FROM GOD
1. The NT word for angel is “angellos” and the OT word is “malakh.” Both these words simply mean, “messenger.” If we didn’t know anything else about angels but this, we would know one of their primary duties is to deliver messages.
2. For example:
Matthew 1- Angels delivering messages about Christ’ birth to both Mary and Joseph.
Genesis 16- An angel tells the runaway slave Hagar that her son Ishmael would be the father of a great nation.
Acts 10:1-6. - An angel tells Cornelius to send for Peter and to listen carefully to his message.
3. Principle: One of the primary duties of angels is to be a sort of messenger service for God.
4. Illus. of old movies
• Often main character would be about to make a bad decision because they didn’t have all the information they needed.
• Courier will run in at crucial moment with a telegram. “Telegram for so and so.”
• Angels are God’s couriers, delivering messages at vital junctures in history.
5. Caution: God has a clearly defined way He speaks to us today. Don’t be looking for an angel messenger with a telegram from God. While God is God and can do so if He pleases, He has told us to seek His voice in other ways.
6. One of the jobs of angels is to deliver messages from God.
II. ANGELS DELIVER PEOPLE FROM TROUBLE
I Kings 19- Elijah is in the wilderness starving as he runs from Jezebel, and an angel delivers a meal.
II Kings 6- Elisha’s hometown is surrounded by an enemy army. When Elisha’s servant wondered what they were going to do, Elisha opened his eyes so that he could see the army of angels there to protect the city.
Acts 5:17-24.- rescued the apostle’s from behind locked doors and armed guards.
2. While God does not always do it, He will sometimes allow his angels to miraculously deliver or protect a human being!
3. Illus. of Myra Anderson (Angels and the New Spirituality, page 181)
• Worked in Teen Challenge Mission in inner city Philadelphia.
• One night a gang surrounded the mission, and began to hurl bottles and curses at the mission.
• Even though she was there alone, Myra felt compelled to go out and confront them. As soon as she walked out, they grew silent, turned, and left.
• One of the gang members later told her that her boyfriend who came out when she did had frightened them. He was about 7 feet tall and clothed in a white suit!
4. One of the jobs angels do is to sometimes protect or deliver from trouble.
III. ANGELS ARE AGENTS OF GOD’S JUDGMENT
Isaiah 37- The king of Assyria has mocked the name of God, and sent his army to besiege Jerusalem. God sends the angel of the Lord to strike down 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.
In Revelation, it is the angels who sound the trumpets of God’s judgment and pour out the bowls of His divine wrath.