The Bible and Angels Part 4
The Minstry of the Holy Angels
Angels are spiritual beings, created by God to serve Him. With that being said, it is necessary for us to look at the ministry of angels. What do they do? The Bible tells us that the holy angels constantly carry out God's will. If we look at Psalm 103:20,21 it states: "Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word." And we see that the writer of Hebrews says this about them: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit eternal life." In other words, one of the major jobs of angels today is to help us who are saved.
I. Their Involvement in the Major Epochs
In every major epoch of history, the angels have been, or will be involved. The book of Job says that they praised God at the creation of the earth (Job 38:6-7). They were there when the Mosaic law was given (Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2). Angels played an active role in the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:20; 4:11). They were active during the beginning of the the Church age in which we are presently living (Acts 10:3,7 and 12:11). And when our Lord returns angels will be involved in His second advent (Matthew 25:31 and I Thessalonians 4:1). The Bible portrays these beings as being active in all of God's work, no matter what that work may be. With the exception of Satan and the fallen angels, these creatures have remained faithful in the service of God since their creation. Now let us look at some of the specific duties of the holy angels.
II. They Worship and Praise God
If we look at both the Old and the New Testaments we will see the angels in heaven giving to God the worship and the praise due his name. For instance, In Isaiah 6 we see the Seraphim saying "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory." And if you look at the last book in the Bible, there are angels praising and giving worship to God as well (Revelation 4-5).
III. They Protect and Deliver
Throughout Scripture, God has used His angels to protect and to deliver His people. Whether it be keeping Daniel safe in the Lion's den, or his three friends in the fiery furnace they sometimes help us through situations that otherwise would be impossible for us (Daniel 3 and 6). Other times, rather than helping through, believers are delivered out of situations. This was done when the apostles were imprisoned in Acts 5, and later when Peter was in prison in Acts 12.
IV. They Serve as Messengers
We see these beings, throughout scripture, bringing messages from God to men and revealing His will. For example, they helped reveal the Law to Moses, according to Acts 7:52,53. And it was an angel that revealed to Mary that she would give birth to Christ (Luke 1:26-28).
V. They Guide and Provide
We see many examples of the guidance of angels in the Bible. For instance, they gave instructions for Joseph regarding the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1 and 2). They also instructed the women at the tomb of our Lord, and gave direction as well to Philip and Cornelius (Acts 8:26; 10:1-8).
The Lord also used His holy angels to provide the physical needs of His people at various times throughout history. One example of this is food for the prophet Elijah in I Kings 19:6.
VI. They Strengthen and Encourage
Angels strengthened and encouraged our Lord after His temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11). We also see them doing this with the apostles. They were encouraged to keep preaching after their release from prison in Acts 5:19,20.
VII. They Serve God in Answering Prayer
In His sovereignty, God sometimes uses angels to answer the prayers of believers. We see examples of this in Daniel and Acts (Daniel 9:20-24; 10:10-12 and Acts 12:1-17).
VIII. They Help Believers at Death
Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus. In this story we see the spirit of Lazarus being carried away to Abraham's bosom after his death (Luke 16:22). We can glean from this that angels play some part in helping believers after they die.
IX. They are Instruments in God's Judgement
One, not so pleasant task of the Holy angels is to carry out the judgements and punishments of God. We see this in various places in the Bible. They will be involved in pouring out the awful judgements of the Great Tribulation, recorded in the book of Revelation. They will even do battle with Satan and his evil angels. The holy angels will confine Satan and his followers to the realm of earth, restricting their access into heaven. This will happen in the middle of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:7). All of this is in preparation for Satan's bondage and ultimate defeat recorded in Revelation 12 and 20.
We can see from this survey, that angels indeed play a vital role in God's plan for the universe. It is my hope that every believer reading this will learn something from them. All of God's creation is supposed to serve and glorify its creator. These beings serve their Lord with total devotion, carrying out His bidding. May we who follow the Lord Jesus Christ be as devoted to Him and His will as these powerful and magnificent creatures. Let all that we do bring glory to God!