THE WONDERFUL MINISTRY OF ANGELS
Angels have fascinated and mystified the minds of men through the ages. Most people have more questions than answers about these beings and many weird and distorted ideas have come down to us that confuse our understanding today.
When we look away from tradition, legends and folklore and take what the Bible tells us about these beings--we can piece together a clear and enlightening picture of just who and what is involved.
We are going to look at the TRUTH about angels and expose some of the FALSEHOODS that have obscured our understanding of ANGELS.
The connection of the visible with the invisible world, the ministration of angels of God, and the agency of evil spirits, are plainly revealed in the Scriptures, and inseparably interwoven with human history. There is a growing tendency to disbelief in the existence of evil spirits, while the holy angels that "minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14) are regarded by many as spirits of the dead. But the Scriptures not only teach the existence of angels, both good and evil, but present unquestionable proof that these are not disembodied spirits of dead men.
Before the creation of man, angels were in existence; for when the foundations of the earth were laid, "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Job 38:7. After the fall of man, angels were sent to guard the tree of life, and this before a human being had died. Angels are in nature superior to men, for the psalmist says that man was made "a little lower than the angels." Psalm 8:5.
We are informed in Scripture as to the number, and the power and glory, of the heavenly beings, of their connection with the government of God, and also of their relation to the work of redemption. "The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all." And, says the prophet, "I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne." In the presence chamber of the King of kings they wait--"angels, that excel in strength," "ministers of His, that do His pleasure," "hearkening unto the voice of His word." Psalm 103:19-21; Revelation 5:11
Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, were the heavenly messengers beheld by the prophet Daniel. The apostle Paul declared them "an innumerable company." Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22. As God's messengers they go forth, like "the appearance of a flash of lightning," (Ezekiel 1:14), so dazzling their glory, and so swift their flight.
The angel that appeared at the Saviour's tomb, his countenance "like lightning, and his raiment white as snow," caused the keepers for fear of him to quake, and they "became as dead men." Matthew 28:3, 4.
When Sennacherib, the haughty Assyrian, reproached and blasphemed God, and threatened Israel with destruction, "it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand." There were "cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains," from the army of Sennacherib. "So he returned with shame of face to his own land." 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21.
Angels are sent on missions of mercy to the children of God. To Abraham, with promises of blessing; to the gates of Sodom, to rescue righteous Lot from its fiery doom; to Elijah, as he was about to perish from weariness and hunger in the desert; to Elisha, with chariots and horses of fire surrounding the little town where he was shut in by his foes; to Daniel, while seeking divine wisdom in the court of a heathen king, or abandoned to become the lions' prey; to Peter, doomed to death in Herod's dungeon; to the prisoners at Philippi; to Paul and his companions in the night of tempest on the sea; to open the mind of Cornelius to receive the gospel; to dispatch Peter with the message of salvation to the Gentile stranger--thus holy angels have, in all ages, ministered to God's people.
A guardian angel is appointed to every follower of Christ. These heavenly watchers shield the righteous from the power of the wicked one. This Satan himself recognized when he said: "Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?" Job 1:9, 10. The agency by which God protects His people is presented in the words of the psalmist: "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." Psalm 34:7. Said the Saviour, speaking of those that believe in Him: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father." Matthew 18:10. The angels appointed to minister to the children of God have at all times access to His presence.
Thus God's people, exposed to the deceptive power and unsleeping malice of the prince of darkness, and in conflict with all the forces of evil, are assured of the unceasing guardianship of heavenly angels. Nor is such assurance given without need. If God has granted to His children promise of grace and protection, it is because there are mighty agencies of evil to be met--agencies numerous, determined, and untiring, of whose malignity and power none can safely be ignorant or unheeding.
Revelation 18 Angel
ANGELS IN PROPHECY
Angels are often portrayed in Prophecy as doing something that controls the events of history- and it is indeed so. As they carry out the commands of God through His power they are His instruments to shape and guide the movements of history so that it is said, "And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:" Daniel 2:21
ANGELS AS BABIES WITH WINGS?
All too often angels are portrayed as cute little babies or children with wings, or if not that- then as delicate maiden's with wings. This is truly unfortunate because on the other hand the creatures of the evil host of fallen angels are portrayed as having fearsome power!
Naturally, children and young people find themselves attracted to these symbols of power associated with evil and despising the cute and dainty angel figures. This is as Satan would have it but the truth of the matter is the angels of light are channels for the great power of God. In the face of one angel, wicked men quake and become as dead men- Satan and his host must flee before one angel of light and cannot step over the boundaries that God places on their activities. One angel slew all the first-born of Egypt in one night. One angel slew Sennacherib's army in one night- thousands will flee before an angel of God.
The hosts of darkness are no match for these mighty servants of God and it is time that we stopped belittling them and thinking of them as something 'cute'. It is time we honored these mighty messengers on whose faithful watch care our comfort and safety depend, for what they really are- the mighty servants of God!
The Bible informs us that angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. There is no gender in angels so female angels and baby angels are only figments of man's imagination. They prefer to be called 'He' in all records of them in Holy Writ.
WHAT ABOUT ARCHANGELS??
There is only ONE ever referred to as an Archangel; and when Jesus returns there is mentioned only the 'Voice of the Archangel' singular. The only one referred to like that is actually Jesus as He stood before God's throne as leader of the angelic hosts. Michael means 'Who is like God" there is no one else 'like God' but God the Son, one with the Father through all eternity. Our Saviour! Gabriel is not referred to as an Archangel and all the other ones are figments of man's imagination as he made up myths to confuse his own mind.
Gabriel is only referred to as "His Angel". He occupies the place at the throne whence Satan fell from. He is also the special messenger to the Prophets."
Heaven is not run as a Hierarchy, so there is no striving for rank and position. It is a family, and those who eventually go there from this earth will have already learned to be part of the family!