Pastor Ron Swanson
Sept 03, 2018
It’s becoming a familiar scene. A terrified crowd of people running for their lives after a senseless attack on civilians. Of course, there’s always been isolated acts of violence, but it seems to be happening more and more frequently.
The first thing we need to know is: This isn’t taking God by surprise. He prophesied long ago that these would be perilous times (2 Tim. 3:1). In fact, Jesus said the time would come when men’s hearts would fail them for fear as they watch the things that are taking place on earth. The world is becoming increasingly dangerous. But, as Christians, we can rest in the fact that our Father is able to protect us, right in the middle of the danger. One of the ways He does that is through the ministry of angels.
In these uncertain times, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a brief look at angels, and how the Bible says they protect us. The first thing we should probably ask ourselves is this: What are angels?
First, they’re not babies with wings and a bow and arrow. (If you Google the word “cherubim”, that’s likely the image that will come up.) Angels aren’t babies. The Bible describes them as powerful beings. In 2 Kings 19:35, one angel destroyed an army of 185,000 men in one night. (I’d like to see a “baby” do that!) No, angels are powerful, and they’re more than capable of protecting us!
Secondly, angels are not our loved ones who have died. (Movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” have propagated the idea, but nowhere does the Bible teach it.) In Job 38:4-7, God asked Job, “Where were you when I created the earth, and all the angels shouted praise?” (Did you see it? The angels already existed at the time of creation! If angels existed before man, then they can’t be men who have died.
Angels in the Bible
Angels are more common in Scripture than you might think. If you combine the Old and New Testaments, they’re mentioned nearly three hundred times! (296 to be exact.) There were at least four angelic visitations surrounding the birth of Jesus, and we see them numerous times in the Book of Acts. Are the angels still working? Yes, they are! Even if they don’t appear to us visibly, the Bible is clear that they’re still active today.
Pastor Ron Swanson
Sept. 10, 2018
Although we may not have as much information as we’d like, we know (from the Bible) that there are several different kinds of angels.
The “cherubim” appear to be one of the highest-ranking of God’s angels. We often find them very close to the presence of God. In Psalm 80:1, we see cherubim sitting next to the Throne of God. In Genesis 3:22, cherubim protected the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden.
Next, we have the “seraphim”. Isaiah 6:2 describes them as having six wings. Their name literally means, “burning ones” and their purpose is to show forth God’s holiness.
Strangely enough, there is only one “archangel” mentioned by name in Scripture, and that’s Michael in Jude verse nine. (Of course, there could be others.) An archangel is a leader (or a “general”) over an army of angels.
The “heavenly host” seems to be a military force that fights God’s battles and accomplishes His will in the earth.
Gabriel is a “messenger angel” who stands in the presence of God and is sent forth periodically to deliver messages from the Throne of God (Luke 1:19).
Sometimes people ask if there are really “guardian angels”. Although the term isn’t found in Scripture, I do believe they exist. On one occasion, Jesus drew the disciples’ attention to some little children, and commented on the fact that “their” angels appear before the face of God (Matt. 18:10). If little children have an angel that watches over them, I think it would be safe to assume that adults do too.
That’s not an exhaustive list. My purpose in listing these is to show that God’s angels are highly organized and they each have assignments that they carry out in the plan and purpose of God.
How Many Angels Are There?
Hebrews 12:22 refers to an “innumerable company” of angels. Revelation 5:11 refers to “countless” angels.
What Do Angels Do?
In the Bible, we see angels involved in: Bringing healing and deliverance (John 5:4, Psalm 34:7), guiding and strengthening people (Acts 8:26, Matt. 4:11), relaying messages from God (Matt. 1:19-20), and going ahead of people to make sure things work out (Genesis 24:7). We see them doing battle (2 Kings 19:35), protecting people (Ps. 34:7), offering incense with our prayers (Rev. 8:3-4), escorting believers to Heaven at death (Luke 16:22), and pouring out God’s judgment in the Tribulation period (Rev. 16:1). Angels are busy!
Pastor Ron Swanson
Sept. 17, 2018
I mentioned (in an earlier blog) that, even though we may not see angels working on our behalf, we can be confident that they’re busy doing what God has sent them to do.
A Word of Caution
As Christians, we’re blessed to have angels working on our behalf. But, there are a few things we should keep in mind.
First, nowhere (in Scripture) did anyone ever seek a visitation from an angel. To seek such things is unscriptural and dangerous. We don’t pray to angels and we don’t seek guidance from angels. Jesus is the center of attention for the Christian. As we serve Him, we can be sure that He will dispatch angels into our lives as He sees fit. (In most cases, we won’t even know it happened until we reach Heaven.) Again, as magnificent and intriguing as angels are, our eyes are to be focused on Jesus alone.
Secondly, nowhere in the Book of Acts do we ever see the apostles asking God to send an angel. When Peter was imprisoned (Acts 12:5-7), the disciples simply prayed for his release. When God did send an angel, it was His idea alone. The believers just prayed and stood on the Word. From there, they trusted God to work out the details for Himself.
The way to enjoy the ministry of angels in your life isn’t to focus on them, it’s to serve God with all your heart and put your trust in Him. As you do, you can know that “the angel of the Lord encamps around those who honor Him, to deliver them …” (Ps. 34:7)
An Unseen Entourage
There’s so much more we could say about angels. Not only does the Bible speak of them protecting us. They also work behind the scenes on our behalf.
When Abraham’s servant went out to find a wife for Isaac, God sent his angel out ahead, to make sure that he crossed paths with the right girl (Gen. 24:7,40). On another occasion, God said, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared” (Exodus 23:20). What an advantage we have as we walk with the Lord! In the middle of a difficult and dangerous generation, we have God’s Word, His Spirit, His wisdom and His unseen messengers to help us.