God's Invisible Helpers
Let us look at the tremendous care that God has taken to assure the security of His children in a physical sense. It’s alleviated a lot of the burden that I might normally bear over anxieties for physical accident or disease or some kind of danger. I’m sure that we’ll never fully understand angels until we meet them and then maybe our understanding will increase to really see what they’re like.
Do angels sing? Job 38:7 describes God as He creates the world. Verse 4 talks about Him laying the foundation of the earth and verse 5 measuring it and so forth. Verse 7 says that all of this creation occurred, “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God” (angels) “shouted for joy.” So we know the angels sang at the creation of the universe. All of the morning stars sang together.
Now a parallel in Revelation 5:11, “And I beheld and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb.’” Verse 9 says, “And they sang a new song.” It appears that the rest of the angels join that new song.
So yes, the angels are singing twice in the Bible. Once at the creation of the world, and once again at the return of Jesus Christ. You know there is no record of them ever singing in between those two times. It seems as though immediately after God made the world and man fell, the angels lost their song, and the thing that will restore the angels’ song is the return of Jesus Christ, and then they’ll sing again.
They’re busy doing other things. We discussed their existence; their origin, their nature that they are spirit beings and yet they have a form because they move from one place to the other. And last time we began to look at their ministry. There are four categories of ministry: They minister to God, they minister to Christ, they minister to believers, and they judge unbelievers.
First to God, angels are ministers of worship and ministers of service. Then we also see them serving God. God sends His angels as messengers. We saw the angels minister to Christ. They ministered to Him at His birth and all through His earthly life. Later at His resurrection; and they attended His ascension into heaven; and they’ll be with Him when He comes back the second time.
We began to see the ministry of angels toward believers, how angels minister to us as Christians. Angels take care of Christians. There are certain angels assigned to certain believers. They are watching us. They watch the church. They watch the preacher. They watch the believer in his life. And they reveal God’s truth. When God wrote the Law, the angels then delivered the Law to Moses.
They also guide believers. And they are busy providing. An angel came and ministered to Elijah and fed him. Angels are also protecting us. Look at Daniel 3. Nebuchadnezzar wanted everybody to worship him. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said no to that. “And if our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us. But if not, we still won’t serve your golden image.”
Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He commanded to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And these men were bound in their coats, their other garments, and cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. The furnace was so hot, that the people that threw them in all burned to death. Nebuchadnezzar said to his counsellors, ‘Did not we cast three men into the midst of the fire?’
They said, ‘True, O king.’” He answered, ‘I see four men loose walking around in the midst of the fire and they are not hurt. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come out of there.’ And the princes, the governors and the king’s counselors, saw these men upon whose bodies the fire had no power.
Not one hair of their head was scorched, neither were their coats singed nor was there the smell of fire.” Absolutely unaffected. “And Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him.’” Who was the fourth one? Some say it was Jesus Christ. For sure it was an angel of the Lord.
Let us look at what happened in Daniel 6:16. It’s a different king, Darius, who has the same problem Nebuchadnezzar had, he wanted everybody to worship him. Daniel refused and they cast him into the den of lions. Darius really believed in Daniel’s God. That’s called the faith of a pagan. “And the king went back to his room in the palace,” verse 18, “and spent the night fasting.”
19 Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in His sight.”
Do we have any stories in the New Testament of angels protecting people? Yes, in Acts 27. Paul is on his way to Rome and he’s in the ship and Acts 27:14 says, “But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale winds.”
During the storm they lowered the sea anchor to slow the ship and began throwing cargo overboard, but the storm did not stop for many days and it blotted out the sun and stars. Finally Paul said in verse 22-24, “Take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. 23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me.”
24 and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar!” You know while that ship was being blasted across the Mediterranean, there were many angels protecting everybody. This story goes on to show how they came to a place of landing. The whole ship disintegrated on the rocks, and everybody fell into the waves. They checked and all persons were saved.
The angels deliver believers. Acts 5:17 -23, “The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, 20 “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!”
21 So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching. When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council—the full assembly of the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought from the jail for trial. 22 But when the Temple guards went to the jail, the men were gone. So they returned to the council and reported.”
23 “The jail was securely locked, with the guards standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!” How did they get out? The angel let them out. God’s angels are involved in delivering His people. You can never get yourself in a situation from which God can’t get you out if that’s what He chooses to do. You know that ought to really give boldness to a missionary.
Look at Peter in Acts 12:5-11, persecution is getting worse. They’ve killed James, the brother of John, and now Peter is in prison. Verse 6, “The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter.
The angel touched him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. 9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a dream. He didn’t realize it was actually happening.
10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. 11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
And from there he went to the prayer meeting, where they were praying to get him out, and he knocked on the door and they came to the door and said, “It can’t be you. You’re in prison,” and shut the door and left him there. You see, one of the ministries of angels is the deliverance of God’s people. In Hebrews 11 delivering all of those heroes that are listed, Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel.
33 Who through faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, et cetera. Think of how the angels have served the people of God by protection and deliverance throughout history. And you know, the angels are going to be active in the future protecting God’s people.
During the tribulation, God is taking 144,000 Jews, according to Revelation 7, and make them evangelists. And so nobody hurts those evangelists, Revelation 7:1-4 says, “Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God.
And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, 3 Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.” 4 And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God—144,000 were sealed from all the tribes of Israel.” You know why? So that they couldn’t be hurt in the time of the tribulation.
Angels deliver answers to prayer. For example, in Acts 12, the angel that took Peter out of prison, that passage starts by saying, “And there was praying going on for Peter.” And God sent an angel in answer to their prayers. In Daniel 9 a prayer and God sends an angel. In Daniel 10, a prayer and God sends an angel. In Acts 12, prayer by the church and God sends an angel.
We do not pray to angels, because angels are only servants. They only obey God, and the pray that we offer to God is the only prayer that is heard. But God will activate His angels in response to that prayer. God answered the prayer of this Indian Christian named Sundar Singh, who prayed for three nights and an angel delivered him. Angels watch, reveal God’s truth, guide, provide, protect and deliver answers to prayer.
Angels take care of believers at their death. Look at Luke 16:19, “Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.”
22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. 24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue.”
That beggar may not have been significant to anybody in this world, but when he died, God dispatched His angels to bring him to Abraham’s bosom. So in these many ways do angels minister to believers. In the future during the tribulation period, the angels are going to minster to the tribulation saints. When Jesus returns, He says in Matthew 24:31, He will send His angels to gather His elect.
How should a believer feel toward angels? Well, we ought to respect them and appreciate them. And we ought to follow their example, because they incessantly worship God and serve God. But we cannot worship angels, for that would be sin. In Revelation 19:10, John fell at the feet of an angel to worship him, “And he said to me, get up John. I’m your fellow servant. Worship God.”
Angels are an extension of God’s love. An extension of God’s care, of God’s power and of God’s grace. Luke 15:8 - 10, “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
Angels judge unbelievers. They are God’s executioners. They were involved in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, that sinful city. In 2 Kings 19, one angel slew 185,000 Assyrian unbelievers in answer to the pray of Hezekiah. In Acts 12 we meet a man by the name of Herod, one of the many Herods, and Herod was so proud of himself that he established a Herod day.
Look at verse 21, “When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22 The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” 23 Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.”
2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 says, “And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels.” 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.” There’s coming a day when Jesus Christ, with His mighty angels, will take vengeance.
Matthew 13:41 says, “The Son of Man shall send forth His angels and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them who do iniquity and cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:41 says, “Then He shall say also to them on His left hand (the unbelievers) ‘Depart from me you cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his demons.’” Let us pray.