Angels

May 15, 2016    Hebrews 1 Angels  

   

        I do not believe that I have ever preached a message on angels before.  As I thought about angels I wondered about the application of the message.  Knowledge puffs up but love edifies so that is perhaps why I have not preached on angels before.  The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders had this to say about angels.  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 believe that someone else prophesied that warring angels are being sent to earth. 

    You may not agree with everything I am saying today.  In a way I hope you don’t agree with all of it.  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?  God is not willing that any should perish but they do perish why?   God does not want us to sin but people sin.  I believe that God calls us to prayer and God sends his angels.

    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 power 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.    If you have a servant can’t you tell them what to do?   Have you ever asked an angel to do something for you?  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 number of other messages.

    Have you ever ask God to release angels on your behalf?  Since they are here to serve us I believe we can ask.  These angels can fight for us.  We need to be very careful about this.  God released an angel of death on Egypt.  Remember the first born of people and animals were killed in the middle of the night.   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.  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.

    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?   I read Jeremiah 16:16 and 17 this week which 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.  It could be 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.    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 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 the 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 e often felt far 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 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 out maneuver them.  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.  We get the sense here that he walked in peace because he was aware of them.  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?  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 reveled 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 spirits hindered Daniel’s prayers. 

   In the New Testament there are also several people including; Mary, Joseph, Zechariah in the New Testament, 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.   Philip and 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.  That is angels and not the 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?   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 did not cover so much material on angels but you can study them.   You can go out on U Tube and listen to a Billy Graham’s message on angels.  I wanted us 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.