Sermon #1364[1]                                          Miscellaneous Notes


          Title:                     WHAT DO YOU


          Text:            Genesis 32:1-2

          Reading:      Psalm 91:1-16

          Subject:       The Angels of God

          Date:            Sunday Morning – September 12, 1999

          Tape #         V-44a



          I had a visit with our family doctor Thursday morning. Before I left, he asked me, “What do you know about angels?” I responded, “Not much.” Then, I proceeded to tell him what little I do know.


          On my way home, I thought about our brief discussion. The whole religious world is caught up in superstition, sentimentality, and idolatry.

·        Some people pray to and worship angels.

·        Many wear idolatrous little “angel” pins, as good luck charms, to keep them from evil.

·        Multitudes foolishly imagine that when babies and little children die, they become angels.


In the light of these things, I thought, it might be good for me to bring you a message on the subject this morning. I spent the rest of the day and evening on Thursday studying what I told Dr. Hendrickson that morning. This message is an elaboration of what I said to him, when he asked, “What do you know about angels?” That is my subject this morning. We will begin in Genesis 32:1-2.


While you are turning to Genesis 32, let me say something. I want you to hear it and hear it well. Before the completion of Holy Scripture, before the entire canon of this Sacred Volume was written, God used to speak to men both by angels, and prophets, and apostles. He confirmed the word spoken in such a miraculous manner by miracles, signs, and wonders. But those days are over. Since that which is perfect has come, now that which was in part has been put aside.


1.                             We now have the complete Revelation of God in Holy Scripture.

2.                             There is no need for, nor can there be, any inspired prophets or apostles, with a new word from God.

3.                             Because we have no new word from God, we do not now live in the age of miracles, signs, and wonders, those things needed in the church’s infancy to confirm the apostles as the messengers of the Messiah.

4.                             For the same reasons, the Lord no longer sends angels, in visible or audible manifestations to direct us in his will and ways. – We have God’s Word for that purpose.


However, that does not mean that the ministry of God’s angels has ceased. Not at all! The angels of God are just as active today as ever. The word “angel,” means “messenger.”

·        An angel is essentially a messenger from God, one created and sent of God.

·        Without question, there is a specific order of heavenly beings called “angels.”

·        The fallen angels (Rev. 12:4), are commonly referred to as “devils” or “demons” (James 2:19). Those fallen angels are messengers of Satan, bent upon the destruction of our souls.

·        Whereas the angels of God are described as “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”


Look at Genesis 32:1-2, see how Jacob described them.


Proposition: The angels of God are God’s messengers of mercy to his elect.


And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.    And when Jacob saw them, he said, This [is] God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.  (Genesis 32:1-2)


          Children of God, you have far more friends than you know. As you make your pilgrimage through this world, as you seek to serve your God, as you walk through the midst of your enemies in this world of darkness, if only you could hear, you would hear the rush of angels’ wings, “God’s hosts,” at your side and round about you. If only you had eyes to see, you would see “the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about” those who dare be faithful to God.


          Let me begin this message by talking to you about the first, most important, most glorious, pre-eminent Angel mentioned in the Book of God (Mal. 3:1).


I.                  Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior is The Angel of The Covenant.


Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger (Angel) of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.  (Malachi 3:1)


          In Isaiah 63:9, our Savior is called “the Angel of his presence.” He is that One who constantly watches over and protects us in this world.


In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.  (Isaiah 63:9)


          The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is called “the Messenger (Angel) of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1). Commonly, in the Old Testament, when we read of “the Angel of the Lord” appearing to men, as he did to Abraham, Monoah and his wife, and others, the one appearing was the Son of God himself. Those pre-incarnate manifestations of Christ were preludes to the coming of our great Savior to accomplish the redemption of his people. He who stood before Joshua as a man of war is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation.


          To say that Christ is “the Angel of the Lord does not, in any way contradict the fact of his eternal Deity. He is both Jehovah and Jehovah’s Messenger. In his eternal Deity, our Savior is God himself, over all and blessed forever. In his mediatoral capacity, as our Surety and Substitute, he is “the Angel of the Lord.”


As the Angel of the Lord, “the Messenger of the covenant,” the Son of God comes to men to reveal and fulfil all the stipulations of the covenant of grace for us (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13), thereby securing our “eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12).


A.   Having fulfilled all the requirements of the covenant as our Substitute, our Savior now sits upon the throne of universal monarchy, ruling all things according to the purpose of God, as our God-man Mediator, to give eternal life to his people (John 17:2; Rev. 10:1-6).


As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  (John 17:2)


1.       And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow [was] upon his head, and his face [was] as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

2.           And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and [his] left [foot] on the earth,

3.           And cried with a loud voice, as [when] a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

4.           And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

5.           And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

6.           And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:  (Revelation 10:1-6)


B.    He, and he alone, is able to fulfil the book of God’s decrees (Rev. 5:7).


1.     And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2.         And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3.         And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4.         And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5.         And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6.         And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7.         And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.  (Revelation 5:1-7)


He who rules the universe is God in human flesh, our Savior and Redeemer, “the Angel of the covenant.” Rejoice!


C.   Our Lord Jesus Christ is pre-eminently the Angel of the Lord.


1.                             He is the Angel who came with a great chain of omnipotent power and bound Satan (Rev. 20:1-3).

2.                             He is the Angel by whom all the earth shall be judged at last (Rev. 20:11-15).

3.                             He is the Angel who sits upon the throne and will, at last, bring all the universe to its divinely ordained completion (“It is done!” Rev. 21:6) ).


Now, turn to Revelation 1, and let me talk to you briefly about some human angels.


II.               Faithful pastors are The Angels of The Churches.


The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.  (Revelation 1:20)


          Here in Revelation 1:20, and in chapters two and three, the pastors of local churches are called “angels,” because faithful men, gifted and called of God to the work of the ministry are God’s messengers to his people. Not all pastors are designated “angels;” but all who are truly God’s messengers to the souls of men are to be esteemed as such. Why? Because God has ordained the salvation of his elect by the hearing of the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17; 10:17; 1 Co. 1:21-24; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).


Let no one despise or lightly esteem the ministry of the Word. Gospel preachers are essential to both the salvation of chosen, redeemed sinners and the edification of his church (Eph. 4:11-16).


11.                  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12.                  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13.                      Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14.                      That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15.                      But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

16.                      From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)


          People often say, “I follow the Lord. I will not follow a man.” Certainly, there is a sense in which this is right. Every man is responsible for his own soul. Each one must search the Scriptures, and make certain that the preachers he hears are true to the Word of God. God’s servants are not inspired, infallible instructors to be blindly followed, or priests to whom you trust your soul. Yet, if anyone follows Christ, he must hear, heed, obey, and follow those men who are the angels of God to their souls (Heb. 13:7, 17).


Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.  (Hebrews 13:7)


  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.  (Hebrews 13:17)


          These faithful men are portrayed as “ beasts (living creatures)before the throne of God (Rev. 4:6-11). By the gifts and grace of God the Holy Spirit, they are bold as lions, strong as oxen, compassionate as men, and soar to heaven like eagles, seeking a word from God for the souls of men.


Like the seraphs described in Isaiah 6, the are humble, conscious of their unworthiness, but swift to do the will and work of God to which they are called. With their eyes always fixed on the blood of the Lamb, they ever set forth the glorious holiness of God.


By the unction of God’s Spirit, when God speaks by his servants to the hearts of chosen sinners, they expose the sins of men and bring the gospel like live coals from off the altar, and proclaim to all who believe, “Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged!”


Gospel preachers, the angels of God to the souls of men, lead sinners in the worship of God, giving “glory and honor and thanks to him sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever.” Blessed are those people to whom God has sent a faithful man, as an angel of God, to minister to their souls.


          Now, turn to Hebrews 1:14. Here we are told that…


III.           There is a special order of heavenly, spirit beings called “the angels of God,” who were specifically created to be Ministering Spirits To God’s Elect.


1.     God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2.         Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3.         Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

4.         Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

5.         For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6.         And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

7.         And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8.         But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.

9.         Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

10.     And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

11.     They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

12.     And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

13.     But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

14.     Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?  (Hebrews 1:1-14)


          These heavenly, ministering spirits, were created and sent forth by our heavenly Father to minister to (serve the needs of) those who shall be the heirs of salvation.


God almighty has an elect people scattered through all the human race, through all parts of the earth, who must and shall be saved.


A.   For every chosen, redeemed sinner there is an appointed time of love when he must be called by grace (Ezek. 16:6-8).

B.    It is the work of the heavenly angels to preserve and protect chosen sinners until the time of their calling.

C.   They are instruments of God in prevenient grace, whereby the elect are kept, provided for, and secretly directed, through all the days of their rebellion, until they are brought at last to the feet of the Savior.

D.   The angels’ ministry to God’s elect is not over, once the chosen are called.


The superstitions regarding each person having a guardian angel is as foreign to the Scriptures as the idea that babies who die in infancy become angels. God’s elect do not have a guardian angel. All God’s angels are our guardians.


Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation;    There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.    For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  (Psalms 91:9-11)


None of us will ever know, this side of eternity, what wonders the angels of God have done to protect and care for us during the time of our sojourn on this earth.


E.    When our pilgrimage here is over, the angels of God carry God’s Lazaruses away to glory (Luke 16:22).


The angels of God are highly intelligent spirits, excellent in wisdom and power, are the secret servants of Emmanuel’s kingdom, ministering to all who shall be heirs of God’s salvation. Could we see how they watch over us, how they guard us from countless evils, did we but know how safely they keep us in the midst of countless foes, we would like the prophet’s servant see the mountains around us full of horses and chariots (2 Kings 6:17).


A single angel destroyed seventy thousand at God’s command (2 Sam. 24:15) and a hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians who came against Israel (2 Kings 19:35). How safe God’s elect must be, who are protected by the angels of God, kept by the power of God, and secure in the hands of our omnipotent Savior!


Only in eternity will the heirs of salvation begin to discover what we owe to the perpetual ministry of these ministering spirits! Well may the heirs of salvation rejoice with such heavenly protectors surrounding them and ministering to them with unceasing joy.


1.     It was an angel who first announced the purpose of Christ’s coming (Matt. 1:21).

2.     It was a chorus of angels who first sang the praise if the incarnate God.

3.     It was an angel who first announced the resurrection of Christ our Redeemer.

4.     It was an angel who sent men to fetch Peter to Cornelius that he might show him the words whereby he must be saved.

5.     The angels of God kept us all the days our rebellion.

6.     The angels of God watch over us every hour.

7.     The angels of God meet with us in the assembly of the saints.

8.     The angels of God always behold our Father’s face in heaven (Matt. 18:10).

9.     The angels of God will carry us home.

10. There is a far more intimate relationship between the saints of God and the angels of God than any of us yet know (Heb. 12:22-24).


But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,    To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,    And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.  (Hebrews 12:22-24)


Application: Let us ever give thanks to our great God for the angels, the messengers of mercy, he has sent and continually sends to us, to minister to and protect us.


1.     The Angel of The Covenant – Christ, Our Faithful Savior.

2.     The Angels of the Churches – Faithful Pastors.

3.     The Heavenly Hosts – Ministering Spirits.


Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?  (Hebrews 1:14)


          One question, and I am done. – Who are these who shall be the heirs of God’s alvation?


1.     God’s Elect.

2.     All The Redeemed.

3.     All Who Are Called.

4.     All Who Believe.


May God be pleased now to grant you faith in Christ and make you an heir of salvation in him, for Christ’s sake. AMEN.

[1] Redeemer Baptist, Louisville, KY – Wednesday Evening 9/29/99