Do angels preach?




Do angels preach?

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2).

"For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him" (Hebrews 2:2-3).

The word for "preach" comes from the Greek work kerusso which literally means a herald or a town crier. This job has always been given to men. Even under the Old Testament, angels might deliver a message to a man, but that man was then expected to spread the word. This is what was being referred to in Hebrews 2:2. A case in point is the conversion of Cornelius in Acts 10. Cornelius was visited by an angel, but the angel himself did not tell Cornelius the gospel message. Instead, Cornelius was instructed to send for Peter. "About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do."" (Acts 10:3-6).

The nearest we come to an angel preaching in general is found in Revelation 14:6-7, "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people-- saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."" Here though, we have symbolism that must be understood. The word "angel" literally means messenger. In Revelation 2 and 3 are letters written to the various angels at different churches. Many feel that the letters were addressed to the preachers at those churches, the ones charged with the delivery of the message. Others feel the angel is the overall spirit of the church, and the letters are more directed to the congregations as a unit. Here in Revelation 14 we must consider whether we are talking about a literal angel, or an angel representing the preaching of the gospel by Christians working behind the scenes on the spiritual plain as men worked on the physical plain, or a symbol of the spirit of the gospel being preached shown in the form of an angel. In other words, because of the nature of Revelation, we cannot jump to the hard conclusion that angels directly taught the message of God.

Paul once, making the strong point that the gospel message is not to be changed, said, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8). The point being is that even if someone claimed to have a new and different message from God, delivered by an angel, it doesn't matter where it comes from. A different message, no matter how high the source, is a false message. God is consistent in what He teaches mankind.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Angels
Questions and Answers regarding Preaching