Sermon #1364 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: WHAT DO YOU
KNOW ABOUT ANGELS?
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.
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.
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.
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).
B. He, and he alone, is able to fulfil the book of God’s decrees (Rev. 5:7).
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
 Redeemer Baptist, Louisville, KY – Wednesday Evening 9/29/99