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8 Amazing Things About Angels
In this past weekend’s message, we witnessed the ground-breaking moment when God revealed to us that the Gospel of Jesus was not just for one group but for all people. Everyone – regardless of race, gender and culture – has the same access to the blessings made available through Jesus. Peter would say in Acts 10:34, 35, “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”
But we also caught a glimpse of the amazing ministry of angels. Through books, movies and mythology, angels have been portrayed a variety of different ways. They are portrayed as infants with wings, beings with white gowns and halos and everything in between. But what does the Bible say about their roles in our life? What are they like? What are they created to do? Let’s take a look 7 things the Bible says about angels and their ministry.
1. They were created by God.
Colossians 1:16 is referencing angels when it speaks of authorities, rulers and dominions: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Nehemiah 9:16 also speaks of angels as “hosts”: “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”
2. They have ranks.
The Bible seems to indicate hierarchy among angels when Michael is called an Archangel in Jude 9: “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”” Archangel indicates rule or authority over other angels. Another verse to reference is Daniel 10:13 when Michael is called a ‘Chief Prince”. How many divisions and ranks there are is unknown.
3. There are MANY of them.
Although we do not know the exact number, Hebrews 12:22 says that they innumerable. The term “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” is also used in Revelations 5:11. Some have speculated that there may be as many angels as there are people as Jesus seems to signify in Matthew 18:10 (emphasis mine), “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
4. We only know of 3 of their names.
While they may all have their own individual names, Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer (later Satan) are the only names we see in scripture given to angels.
5. They are extremely powerful.
In Psalm 103:20, angels are “mighty ones who do His Word…” There are many examples in scripture of how powerful angels are, but perhaps the most notable one is in 2 Kings 19. When an army sought to destroy God’s people, God answered King Hezekiah’s prayer by sending one angel. In verse 35, we find out what one angel was able to do: “And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians.”
So when Jesus said He could have prayed to the Father, and God would respond with twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), it is almost impossible to fathom the power and might they would command. A roman 12 legion is equal to 72, 000 soldiers. If one angel struck down 185, 000 enemies, how much force could 12 legions do? To be exact: at least 13,320,000,000 enemies (that is, thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million men) — which is more than twice the number of people living on the earth right now!
6. They glorify God.
The Seraphim (a type of angelic being) praise God for His holiness (Isaiah 6:2-3), and so do the living creatures in Revelation 4:8. The Psalmist in Psalm 103:20 says angels glorify God for “who He is” and for “His excellence”. We also see in the Christmas story how they glorified God as His plan for redemption was unfolding (Luke 2:14).
7. They are NOT to be worshipped.
In Colossians 2:18, Paul talks about false doctrines including the worship of angels. In Revelation 19:10, an angel is explicit that we are to worship God, “Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.”
8. They do not preach the Gospel.
We see this in the story of Cornelius in Acts 10, the same passage we were in this past weekend. While angels appeared to guide and oversee divine circumstances, they could not preach the Gospel nor lead someone to salvation as Peter would do the household of Cornelius. This is reserved for God’s children.