Introduction: Angels are found throughout both the Old and New Testament. They are very active in Genesis such as in the Garden of Eden, to Hagar, to Abraham, to Lot and Jacob, the angel of Lord in the Exodus, Joshua, in the Judges, during the times of Elijah and Elisha, to Isaiah and Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah. In the New Testament during the lifetime of Jesus, we see angels connected with him in almost every major event and in the apostle Paul and John’s life.
The question is “What are angels like?” There are five characteristics of angels I want to talk to you about.
Angels are created beings.
Ps. 148:1-5 says, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.”
Nehemiah 9:6 says, “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”
Angels were present very early in creation.
Job 38:4-7 says, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Ps. 104:4-5 says, “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.”
Believers, like angels will last throughout eternity
Lk. 20:36 says, “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”
You and I will get to fellowship with the angels and praise and worship Jesus alongside them.
The last part of Hebrews 12:22 says, “An innumerable company of angels.” That doesn’t mean they’re an infinite amount of angels, it means you can’t count how many there are.
How many angels are there? Rev. 5:11 gives us a hint. 10,000 times 10,000 equals 100 million angels. And there are thousands more. So are there enough angels to minister to my needs? Yes.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “I do not know how to explain it; I cannot tell how it is; but I believe angels have a great deal to do with the business of this world.” Angels are like busy bees for there are so many of them.
Because they are spirits, angels are invisible. We are not aware of the number of intervention of angels.
Arab-Israeli War of 1967. Israel verses Egypt, Jordan, Syria. The Arab nations had almost twice as many soldiers. Yet during those six days, both Israeli and Arab foot soldiers and airpilots reported sightings of angels. Could this have been the mighty host sent to protect God’s people? Absolutely.
As to their appearance, notice what Matthew 28:2-3 says. “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.”
Acts 1:10 says, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel.” So angels are bright with a long white garment. They’re beauty surpasses anything known to man. But wait, have you forgotten that you will have a new glorified body.
Peter Marshall was a chaplain of the United States Senate back in the 1940’s. In the book A Man Called Peter, his wife Catherine recounts an incident that happened when his husband was walking back home from work one night. He took a shortcut, knowing this path was near a limestone quarry (kwore). Suddenly an urgent voice called out, “Peter!.” He stopped. Yes who is it? What do you want?” For a second he listened, but there was no response, only the sound of the wind. He took a few more steps and then he heard it again, “Peter!” He stopped and soon investigated the ground. One more step and he would have plummeted to his death.
God has his angels where he wants them and how he uses them because he is organized.
Col. 1:16 says, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”
Our God is a God of order and organization. Every angel has his own job to do. Just like the military, they have different rankings.
Sometimes angels are called an army or host.
Rev. 19:19 says, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”
Angels are very strong.
Ps. 103:20 says, “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Did you know the tomb that covered our Lord’s grave probably weighed about 4,000 pounds? An angel rolled it away.
An angel shut the mouths of the lions.
Dan. 6:22 says, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.”
Angels move swiftly and are not bound by gravity.
Dan. 9:21 says, “Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly (quickly), touched me about the time of the evening oblation.”
Angels know more than we do, but they don’t know everything. Mk. 13:32 says, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
They watch us
1 Cor. 4:9 says, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” Angels are watching you and are personally involved in your life.
They wonder about us
Angels have emotions. Luke 15:10 says, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Don’t you want to make the angels joyful, then lead someone to Jesus.
1 Peter 1:12 says, “Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” The angels can inquire all they want to about salvation, but they will never comprehend it. They can’t understand what it was like to be lost and then get saved.
Hymn “Holy, Holy Is What The Angels Sing”
There is singing up in Heaven such as we have never known, where the angels sing the praises of the Lamb upon the throne, their sweet harps are ever tuneful, and their voices always clear, O that we might be more like them while we serve the Master here!
Refrain: Holy, holy, is what the angels sing, and I expect to help them make the courts of Heaven ring; but when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings, for angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.
But I hear another anthem, blending voices clear and strong, unto Him who hath redeemed us and hath bought us, is the song; we have come through tribulation to this land so fair and bright, in the fountain freely flowing He hath made our garments white.
Refrain: Then the angels stand and listen, for they cannot join the song, like the sound of many waters, by that happy, blood washed throng, for they sing about great trials, battles fought and vict’ries won, and they praise their great Redeemer, who hath said to them, Well done.
Refrain: So, although I’m not an angel, yet I know that over there I will join a blessèd chorus that the angels cannot share; I will sing about my Savior, who upon dark Calvary freely pardoned my transgressions, died to set a sinner free.