“When you see an angel, you don’t say, ‘How cute!’ When you see an angel, you wet your pants!” Albert Mohler
We are currently in a study of Hebrews as of this writing. We are studying Hebrews 1:4-14.
And, as amazing as angels are, and as important they have been, are now, and will be in the history of God’s interaction with humanity, Jesus is greater than the angels.
Below you will find several verses that came to mind on this topic and a thought afterwards. This isn’t meant to be exhaustive. There are volumes on this topic. More so, just a reminder of who God is and those whom he has made to do his will.
(Side note: Do we have a “guardian angel?” Scripture isn’t clear. Angels help believers inherit salvation according to God’s command (Heb. 1:14) and Mt. 18:10 speaks of “their angels” who care for them before the face of God the Father. God cares for us and sometimes uses angels to do so. To be clear...scripture teaches that angels are real and active in carrying out God’s plans and purposes in history. The answer to this is unclear in Scripture. Eph. 3:10 tells us that God’s wisdom is put on display to the angels and demons through the church, however.)
What are they?
- They are a higher order than humans, and did not evolve from them, and they are below God.
- They are created beings (Ps 104:4; Col 1:16; Heb 2:7), but immortal (Lk 20:36, note we will be “like” the angels, not angels).
- They are between humans and God, and as such they have a ministry.
- They are innumerable (Dt 33:2; Ps 68:17; Heb 12:22), myriads, thousands upon thousands.
- They have a hierarchy - archangel (1 Thess 4:16; Jude 9)
- Jesus had tens of thousands (12 legions) of them at His command (Matt 26:53).
- A legion, which is the largest division of troops in the Roman army, varying greatly in number at different periods as 3,000; 4,200; 5,000; 6,600.
- Used for an indefinitely great number of angels. (CWSB)
- Sometimes are made aware to animals and not people (Num 22:21-35).
- They can appear as glorious and magnificent beings (Dan 10), or as plain and normal humans; in fact, we have interacted with them without knowing because they can appear as humans (Heb 13:2).
What do they do?
- They serve us (Heb 1:14). They are active in both the Old Testament and New Testament directing away from harm (Mt 2:13) opening prison doors and interacting with believers and giving guidance to them (Exo 14:19; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 12:7-11; 27:23-24).
- They comfort and minister to us, even Jesus received their ministry while on earth (Mt 4:11; Lk 22:42-44).
- They watch out for the little ones (Matt 18:10).
- Who are the little ones? Children?
- Believers, specifically straying ones?
- Does this add a dimension to your prayer for loved ones or fellow believers who have been straying?
- This passage does not affirm the doctrine of each believer being assigned a guardian angel.
- When we die, they take us to Abraham’s bosom (Lk 16:22).
- They serve God, and are in fact often called “angels of God” (Gen 32:1; Jn 1:51).
- When Jesus returns, they are coming with Him (Matt 25:31; 1 Thess 4:16-17; 2 Thess 1:7- 8).
- They offer protection for us. Angels encamp around those who fear God (Exo 14:19; Ps 34:7; 2 Ki 6:17; Dan 6:22).
- They war against Satan and his demons. (Dan 10; Jude 9).
- They bring messages from God to us. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, an angel came and brought coal off of the alter (Isa 6:1-7).
- Angels would deliver messages to the prophets who would in turn deliver them to the people (Judg 6:12; 2 Ki 1:15; Dan 10:10-20; Zech 1:9; Rev 1:1).
- Therefore, the Jews received messages from God through angels, which caused them to think that if angels could bring God’s messages to us, they could take our messages to God, and that developed into the practice of praying “through” angels.
- As a part of this, they specifically announce important births – Isaac (Gen 18); Samson (Judg 13:3), John the Baptist (Lk 1:11-20); the coming of Messiah (Lk 1:28-38; 2:13), as well as His resurrection (Matt 28:5).
- They rejoice when someone comes to Christ (Lk 15:10
Some random thoughts....
1. There was no redemptive plan for the fallen angels. There did not have to be one for us either. Tremble with thankfulness (Jude 6). The angels are greater than men, but God left them to their own ruin. He could have done the same with us! He did not owe us a Savior!
2. God doesn't need angels. Why then create them? He enjoys making magnificent beings and giving them the pleasures of ministry.
3. Don't obey the brightest angel from heaven who tells you to do what God said, “Don't” (1 Kings 13:17-18).
4. In 700 BC, Isaiah had a vision of heaven filled with angels crying "Holy! Holy! Holy!" (Isa. 6:3). 800 years later, the apostle John had a similar vision and the angels were still crying "Holy! Holy! Holy!" (Rev. 4:8). According to the angels we will never be bored of God in heaven.
5. “But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever’” (Hebrews 1:8). Angels are great. But not this great. The Son of God alone is God.
6. “Are not angels ministering spirits sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). God could do everything immediately himself. He need not use the service of angels or the gifts of saints. But he delights in means, not just ends. The angel of the Lord struck Peter and "the chains fell off his hands." The angel of the Lord struck Herod and “he was eaten by worms.” (Acts 12:7, 23). So do the angels “serve those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
7. "Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me” (Daniel 6:21-22). God’s angels are dispatched, or not, according to infinite wisdom and goodness and justice.
8. “Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3 “Do you not know?” So, evidently during an 18-month crash course in basic Christianity (Acts 18:11) Paul had taught these new believers that they would judge angels.
9. “By your appointment, O Lord, they stand this day, for all things are your servants” (Psalm 119:91). Neither angels, Satan, fates, or man control anything (Rom. 8:38-39). All things serve One will.
10. “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Neither a double-tongued Paul, nor an anti-Gospel angel is to be trusted. Let Paul and heaven be cursed if they contradict the biblical plan of salvation!
11. “The people were shouting to king Herod, ‘The voice of a god, not a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last” (Acts 12:22–23). Just a heads-up to every leader—old and new.
12. God's appointment of Christ as King did not require the approval of men or angels & its continuance does not depend upon their aid. As Christians, we believe the Bible reveals God's truth to us. The Son of God eternally existed, and the angels cried out "Holy" before Him (Isa. 6:4). Jesus came to our world for the purpose of seeking sinners (Lk. 19:10). Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father (Rom. 8:15).
13. The Lord has exalted above all things his name and his word (Psalm 138:2). Let us join with the saints and angels and do the same today.
14. When the angel of God shows up and is asked by Joshua (5:13-15), “Whose side are you on?” and the answer is: "I didn't come to take sides. I came to take over.”
Jesus' tomb is empty….God's throne is occupied… the Spirit is interceding inside us…our lives are hidden in Christ…angels attend us…the Scriptures have never been more trustworthy…the gospel is true and beautiful… the church is growing and the Kingdom is coming …. = Thank the Lord!!