Angels

November 27, 2016     Hebrews 1 Angels  

   

   What is the unique call that God has for this church?  What is the dream of this church?  What are you doing with the call of God?  Is the call of God important?     We had a healing service a couple of weeks ago.  James 5 says call for the elders anoint and they will be healed.  Bill commented Sunday morning that he fasted and I fasted.  Five came forward and 4 were touched in that service.  Are the leaders of this church willing to fast? 

    Monty Roberts was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who worked hard training horses at many farms, stables, and ranches.  His high school career was continually interrupted because of this work schedule.  As a senior he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.  Monty wrote a lengthy paper describing his goal of someday owning a magnificent horse ranch.  He drew a diagram of the 200 acre dream ranch, detailing the location of buildings, stables, track, and 4,000 square foot house.    

    A few days later Monty received the paper back from his teacher with a large red F.  Upon being asked the reason for the F the teacher responded, this is an unrealistic dream for a boy like you.   You have no resources or money.  You have to buy the land breeding stock, and pay stud fees among other things.  There is no way you could ever do it.  The teacher then added if you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I’ll reconsider your grade. 

    Monty thought about it long and hard for a week.  Finally he turned in the same paper making no changes at all and informed his dream stealing teacher you keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.  Years later his dream became a reality.   He nows lives on a 200 acre ranch and etc. and his high school paper framed over the fire place.  That is from Dutch Sheets book titled Dream page 42.   You know we do not think too highly of that teacher but it might have been the best thing she ever did for Monty.  I think he drew a line in the sand and said this is what is going to be.  This is my life and no one is going to take it from me.  For the Christian we stand up and say Satan and forces of hell will not prevail.  I am on standing on the promises of God.     

  I do not think that I ever preached on angels before this year.   As I thought about angels I wondered about the application of the message. In other words how do I apply this to my life?   Knowledge puffs up but love edifies so that is perhaps why I have not preached on angels before.  I think also we think of angels as inferior to God and they are.   We rely on the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God.  I somewhat follow a prophetic group that Cindy Jacobs out of Texas is with.  She teaches and prays and is into prophecy.  A group of prophetic Christians gather each year and pray and seek God for what is going to happen.  They are called the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders and they had this to say about angels this year.    Angels, angels, angels.  Whole armies of angels are being released into the earth to see these things prophesied come to pass. Many dreams were given about angelic hosts, and the good news is that angels will be sent to minister to individuals and nations.

   They referenced Psalm 103:20 and 21 which says Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.     Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.    1 Corinthians 13:1 if I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  It does communicate that angels can speak.  There is certainly heavenly communication.  Paul said he heard things that were not lawful for men to speak.  Hebrews 1:7 in speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire and Hebrews 1:14 are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation   I read that someone else prophesied that warring angels are being sent to earth now and in this year 

    .  I think there is a lot to learn about angels and a lot to experience about angels.    How does God get his work done in the world today?   If God wants something done how does he do it? He can speak.  God can send angels.  I believe that God calls us to prayer and God sends his angels.  We see several examples where angels were involved in various situations and people in the scripture.  Angels came and ministered to Jesus.   God chose angels to minister to his son.  We tend to think of God Jesus and the Holy Spirit helping us and tend to forget angels.  God chooses angels to minister to his people today.  That makes angels and their ministry very important I think.  

    In Hebrews 1verse 7 we see that angels are his servants and God likens them to wind and fire.  In verse 14 they are ministering spirits sent to serve those that will inherit salvation.   Angels are sent to serve you and me.   Aren’t you special?  These spirits are magnificent powerful beings.  They walk in the power and authority of God.  MacArthur writes that angels will serve us forever.   God thinks enough of Christians to send us angels.  Angels are sent to those that will walk with Jesus to those who will inherit salvation.   They are here to serve us.   If you have a servant can’t you tell them what to do?   Have you ever asked an angel to do something for you?  They are ministers that God sends.   Have you ever prayed to angels?   Christians should pray to God in the name of Jesus.   There are good angels and there are angels that work for Satan.  We are not into new age and spirit guides.  Those beings are demons and that is a topic for a number of other messages.

    Have you ever ask God to release angels on your behalf?  I think that is a valid prayer request.  Maybe some of you would not agree. Maybe we have never thought about that before.     Since they are here to serve us I believe we can ask God.  These angels can fight for us.  We need to be very careful about this.  God released an angel of death on Egypt. One angel killed every first born animal and child of those in Egypt who did not have blood on their door posts.   It did not take days to do this.  These angels are very powerful.   In Isaiah 34:7 and other places in the Old Testament we see the angel of the lord went out in the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 men.  It happened in one night.   Angels can do a lot.  They are powerful.  They can fight on behalf of Christians.  We see God fighting for the Israel over and over again in the bible and we will see it in the last days.  In Ezekiel 38 God said I will fight against Gog.  How is God going to do that?  He probably will send an angel or an army of angels. 

    Angels are not like a little toy or a Christmas present.  In Jude verse 8 we read in the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.     They heap abuse or slander celestial beings.   That is a warning not to do that and in verse 9 but even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”  Satan I know someone who can whip you.  Can a church ask God to send angels to bring people to church?   In Jeremiah 16:16 and 17 says but now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.   My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.  I could easily believe that the hunters and the fishers are angels.  Maybe it is people who are motivated or moved by angels.  I cannot claim that for sure but angels are very involved here on earth. 

   It is plain in Hebrews 1 that Jesus reins and that Jesus is superior to angels.   Angels belong to God and God has sent them to help us but they have been sent to serve the saints.    In Matthew 4:11 we see Satan leaving Jesus and angels came to minister or attend to Jesus.    In this situation when God wanted to bless and strengthen Jesus God sent angels to him.  Angels have worked for you, or worked on your behalf.   Some of that work may be protection.  I believe, if you are a child of God or if you are going to become a child of God angels have been involved with you. 

   Matthew 18:10 says see that you do not despise one of these little ones for I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.  Jesus said do not despise one of these little ones.  Well who are the little ones?  The little ones are Christians.  Angels are assigned to those who are going to be saved.  I believe they are assigned at or before birth.    Do not despise Christians.  Be careful about being critical of your brother or sister.  Why because the angels assigned to them see the face of God.  You do not want those angels to give a bad report of you to God.  Your angels that are assigned to you have access to God.  No matter where those angels are they see the face of God.  It would seem that there is immediate and constant contact between God and his angels. 

     Angels was a very popular topic a few years ago probably because of Billy Graham’s book on angels.  Evangelist Billy Graham’s book Angels a Doubleday publication sold 810,000 copies by the end of 1975, despite its not getting started until October.  Sales reached 1 million in January.  It is believed to be the first time a best seller has hit the one million mark within four months.   Billy said as an evangelist I have often felt far to spent to minister from the pulpit to men and women who have filled stadiums to hear a message from the Lord.  Yet again and again my weakness has vanished and my strength has been renewed.  I have been filled with God’s power not only in my soul but physically.   On many occasions God has become especially real and has sent His unseen angelic visitors to touch my body to let me be his messenger for heaven speaking as a dying man to dying men.  I don’t think we consider angels when we share or preach the bible or minister.  We tend to just think about the Holy Spirit.  . 

   I think we would all say that is good news that God is sending angels and sending warring angels.  What does that mean for you and me?  In II Kings 6 we read an interesting story.  Elisha tells the king of Israel where the Arameans were going to be to attack Israel so the Israelites would always know about it.  Their enemy the Jews would know where his army was at.  You do not want the enemy to know what your battle plans are because it gives them an edge.    The king enquires and finds out that Elisha is the one who tells the king of Israel.  So the king sends his army to surround Elisha and we read starting in II Kings 6:15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.   “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 

    And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.    My army is bigger than your army so there.   As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.  Now it certainly does not say angels in this passage but I can easily believe that that those horses and chariots were manned.  According to the bible we can believe that there are angels all around us.   We just do not see them. 

    Let me ask you a question do you want to see angels?   Would you pray open my eyes that I may see?  Elisha prayed for his servant to see the forces of God and God opened his eyes.   Elisha was aware of their presence.  I get the sense here that Elisha walked in peace because he was aware of the presence of God’s army of angels around him.    Elisha was not afraid was he?  We do not know if he ask God to send angels or release angels but he was aware of the power of the armies of heaven.    Psalm 34:7 the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.  David wrote that and he must have had a sense of angelic presence.    Psalms mentions angels 10 times. 

    Sometimes when I want to get a broad view of a word in the bible I take out my Strong’s Concordance and take a look the topic or the word.    You can pray Lord give me a sense of this word and where it is used and how it is used by checking out other verses.  I looked the word angel up and the word angel or angels is mentioned or used almost 300 times in the bible.  That is pretty impressive.  Which book of the bible do you think the word angel is written the most?  About 25% of them are in Revelation.  It is used 76 times in Revelation.  Angels are mentioned in 17 of the 22 chapters of Revelation.   I guess you could say in a way that Revelation has a corner on the market at least on the usage of the word angel or angels.

     Hebrews 1:2 says now in these last days.  Now I understand they thought they were in the last days but there is the sense that since the time of Jesus it has been the last days.  We consider Revelation a book of the last days.  Many Christians believe that we are living in the last days.  I find it interesting that angels are mentioned so much in Revelation in the book talking about last days. There is a lot of angel activity in the last days.   It looks like God is making a statement that in the last days there is a lot of angel activity.    How does God do his work in the world?  Certainly one way is that God uses and he sends his angels. 

   Several people had a vision or a visit from an angel or angels in the scriptures.  Starting right out in Genesis we see activity.  The following people had an experience with angels, Hagar, Abraham, Lot, Balaam, Balaam’s donkey.   I guess since God revealed an angel to a donkey God can reveal angels to us.   Gideon, Samson’s mother and father, David, Elijah, Elisha, the minor prophet Zechariah in the Old Testament also had an experience with angels.    Gabriel and Michael both came to Daniel at different times.  Those are the only 2 angel names that I know of in the bible.    We see the angels of God fighting evil spirits and the evil spirit hindered Daniel’s prayers. 

   In the New Testament there are also several people including; Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, the shepherds, the guards at the tomb.  An angel got the guards attention and they shook like dead men.  The women at the tomb and the apostles were released from the prison and Peter got released from prison with the help of an angel.   We also see that Philip, Cornelius the Roman soldier and in Revelation the Apostle John.   There are many people that were touched by an angel in the bible.   I suspect that I missed some.  I have mentioned angels and not talked about cherubim.  God assigned cherubim at the Garden of Eden to keep anyone from going to the tree of life.   Adam and Eve may have seen that.  Ezekiel certainly had visions of cherubim. 

     How does all this apply to you?  Well that is a good question.  I would say for one thing we can know that there is a great army surrounding us. I think we can pray prayers like Lord send your angel to protect my child, my spouse my grandchild etc.  Some Christians freely ask God to send angels.  I suspect that some believers would say I could never ask God to send angels.  Some of them though think nothing of asking Jesus to help them.  Jesus is far greater than the angels.  Some would say I am going to ask God to help me and he can send or do whatever God wants to.  I guess that works.   Paul writes that some day we will judge the angels.  Can a church ask God to send warring angels over every house in their community to work in people’s lives and to protect people? 

   Can a church pray Lord please send angels to our church signs to draw people’s attention to them.  Wouldn’t that bring glory to God?  Would God be pleased that we his children would trust him and believe God enough that if we ask for angels to be sent that God would send them?  Is God pleased with big prayers?  I would encourage you to do some bible study on angels.  I did not exhaust what the bible has to say about angels.     You can go out on You Tube and listen to a Billy Graham’s message on angels.  I think it is good for Christians to be exposed to the topic of angels.  I would encourage your own personal study.  There are almost 300 verses to study and that will take some time.  .

    You got a spiritual meal today do not starve yourself until next Sunday.   Feed your soul on the bible.  Do not starve your inner spiritual person your soul.   Be warmed and filled.