Angels


Text: Daniel 10

 

I.         Men have long been fascinated by angels

            A.        There is a bit of mystery involved because not much is written about them

            B.        Yet what we do know leaves us in awe of these beings

II.        What are angels?

            A.        The words for angel in both Hebrew and Greek simply means “messenger.”

                        1.         First, and foremost, angels are God’s messengers - Hebrews 2:2

            B.        Their number is beyond counting

                        1.         An innumerable company - Hebrews 12:22

                        2.         The throne seen described - Revelation 5:11

            C.        Yet out of that great number, we only know the names of two:

                        1.         Michael - Jude 9

                        2.         Gabriel - Luke 1:19

                        3.         Some are disinclined to identify themselves, as it distracts from the message - Genesis 32:29; Judges 13:17-18

            D.        They are spiritual beings - Hebrews 1:14

                        1.         They would have been a part of the creation - Colossians 1:16-17

                        2.         Created with the rest of the world - Psalms 148:2-5

                        3.         Being spiritual, they are of a higher order than man - Psalm 8:4-5

                        4.         And unlike man, they do not marry - Matthew 22:30

            E.        Like man, angels are beings with free-will, capable of sinning - II Peter 2:4

                        1.         Not to be worshiped - Revelation 19:10

                        2.         Some are referred to as holy - Matthew 25:31

                        3.         Some are referred to as elect (chosen) - I Timothy 5:21

                        4.         Others are associated with Satan - Matthew 25:41

                        5.         There is a warring division - Revelation 12:7

            F.        There is a ranking among angels

                        1.         Michael is referred to as an archangel (chief or captain of angels) - Jude 9; Daniel 10:13

III.       What do angels look like?

            A.        They are popularly portrayed as beautiful humans with wings, but there is no consistent description in the Bible

            B.        There are two types mentioned. Traditionally counted among the angels, though never directly called angels.

                        1.         Seraphim (“burning”) - Isaiah 6:1-3 (Psalm 104:4 could be an indication that these are considered angels or a type of angel.)

                        2.         Cherubim (“holding fast”) - Ezekiel 10:5

            C.        Their looks varied

                        1.         They can appear as a man - Daniel 8:15

                        2.         So close, that they are not immediately recognized - Hebrews 13:2

                        3.         Some appeared as soldiers with drawn swords - Joshua 5:13-15

                        4.         Some appear shining - Luke 24:4; Daniel 3:24-25; 10:5-6

                        5.         Some terrified those who saw them - Judges 13:6; Luke 2:9; Matthew 28:2-4

                        6.         Others are just plain hard to imagine - Ezekiel 1:5-9

            D.        They fly (move fast) - Revelation 8:13

                        1.         But wings are only mentioned in visions or in art

                        2.         Cherubim with two wings - I Kings 8:6-7

                        3.         Cherubim with four wings - Ezekiel 10:19-21

                        4.         Seraphim with six wings - Isaiah 6:2

                        5.         This leads people to conclude that the wings merely represent their ability to travel rapidly

IV.      What to angels do?

            A.        They delivered messages

                        1.         An angel told Hagar to return - Genesis 16:7

                        2.         An angel told Paul he would survive being shipwrecked - Acts 27:23-24

            B.        They explained visions - Daniel 8:16-17; 9:21-22

            C.        They work for God’s redeemed - Hebrews 1:14

                        1.         Angels feed Elijah in the wilderness - I Kings 19:5-6

                        2.         They protected Daniel from lions - Daniel 6:22

                        3.         They delivered Hezekiah from the Assyrians - Isaiah 37:36

                        4.         An angel freed Peter from prison - Acts 12:7-10

            D.        They carry out God’s judgment

                        1.         A cherubim kept man out of the garden - Genesis 3:24

                        2.         Two angels destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah - Genesis 19:12-15

                        3.         An angel struck Jerusalem with a plague - I Chronicles 21:15-16

                        4.         Angels will separate the righteous and wicked - Matthew 13:30, 39

            E.        They roam and watch - Zechariah 1:8-11

                        1.         Stands watch - Daniel 12:1

            F.        Involved in politics - Daniel 10:12-14

                        1.         Not always seen - II Kings 6:13-18

            G.        Involved in getting preachers to people

                        1.         Ethiopian eunuch - Acts 8:26

                        2.         Cornelius - Acts 10:2-6

                        3.         While these are obvious, the implication is that more may be going on behind the scenes

                        4.         Angels rejoice in salvation - Luke 15:10

            H.        But for all their might, they are limited creatures

                        1.         They do not know everything - Matthew 24:36

                        2.         Even the messages delivered were not fully known - I Peter 1:12

V.        It is likely that much which we refer to as God’s providential care is carried out by His angels

            A.        They care about God’s people - Matthew 18:10

            B.        They are working for our salvation and rejoice when it comes

            C.        The heavenly host is waiting for you as well, longing for you to join them