Do you believe in angels?

Do you really?

Have you ever seen an angel? Have you ever been "touched" by an angel? Have you ever been an angel; or perhaps do you think you ever will be one? ó or have you ever been used to do the work of an angel?

Angels play an important role in biblical history, as well as our lives today. Thatís evident throughout the Bible. Some of the Bibleís greatest events and miracles have involved Godís use of His angels.

I believe His angels still work in our lives today ó and everyday. We may not always see their work ó or pay attention to it; but angels have their impact on someone nearly every day.

While angels are one of Godís primary tools to serve as messengers and deliverers of the Lordís decrees, their actions may be miracles to us. But they are often disguised and we should be careful not to miss them. Are we ourselves capable of being the tool of angel use?

From the outset we can establish that while angels are Godís messengers, they do not rise about the authority of Jesus. Certain pagan doctrines attach special significance to angels. Some believe that Jesus was an angel by virtue of the miracles he performed. Jesus was and is superior to any angels, by the authority and inheritance of the Lord. In fact, all angels of God are to worship Jesus. Hebrews 1:4-14. Chapters 2 and 3 further establish Jesus' superiority.

The Bible has plenty of references to the Lordís angels. Most often we associate angels with the Bibleís greatest events.

The early references of angels include such events as the "angel of the Lord" which appeared to Hagar ó Abrahamís wifeís (Sarahís) maiden. Gen. 16:7, 21:17; and the angel of the Lord which appeared to Moses in the burning bush Exodus 3:2.

The most-often reference is to the angel which announced the birth of Christ.: "I bring you good tidings of great joy....For unto you is born this day ...a Savior which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-14. But angels also appeared to Joseph regarding his marriage to Mary (Matt. 1:20-24).

Satan tried tempting Jesus, quoting the ability of Jesus to use angels to bear him up. Matt. 4:1-6; Jesus was not tempted, even though he knew he could summon "twelve legions of angels" to save himself from suffering on the cross, but chose not to so that the scripture might be fulfilled and each of us might inherit eternal life. Matt. 26:53.

An angel appeared to Jesus in Gethsemane to strengthen Him before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. Luke 22:43.

We know that an angel rolled back the rock over the tomb of Jesus and sat on the rock to address those witnesses looking for Jesusí grave. Matt. 28:2-7.

Perhaps the greatest acts of angels will come at the end of the world when Jesus will send out his angels to sever the wicked from among the just. Matt. 13:41-43, 49-50. And we know that upon our rise from the dead, we will be "as angels which are in heaven." Mark 12:25.

Angels were active in the days of the apostles. Paul states he was treated as an angel of God. Gal. 4:14. An angel appeared to Phillip Acts 8:26 and Peter talked of the sighting of an angel Acts. 11:13 and an angel directing him. Acts. 12:7-8. The apostle Paul stated he serve the angel of God. Acts. 27:23.

The 34th Psalm tells us that angels are still with us today, camping around those that fear the Lord; and a well-known hymnal prays to "Bear me up Angels".

Have you helped the poor or afflicted, or a stranger in need? Have you given assistance to another, or chosen to serve a neighbor so that the Lord might be glorified. If so, you may have entertained angels and not known it. Hebrews 13:2.

My father shared from the pulpit many times his story of his being stranded on a deserted rural highway one night in a terrible storm when his vehicle failed. A rough-looking individual in worn clothes driving a well-worn pickup stopped and came to his rescue, carrying him into the nearest town and delivering him back to his vehicle. There was no doubt ever in his mind he had met face-to-face with an angel of God.

You can do the work of an angel, or assist angelsí work by serving another in need. The Lord moves mysteriously, and His directions to angels can be disguised as merely "good luck" or coincidence.

You may be the tool the Lord chooses to do the work of a angel. When you seize the opportunity to help another in need, no matter how small or trivial your help may seem, it is the work of an angel to the recipient. Iíve been so fortunate to be on the receiving end of the work of the Lordís angels. They come in the form of pastors and friends past midnight in hospital rooms, and previously-presumed-not friends who lend a simple hand in hard times; and many others whom the receiver may recognize as an angel without the giver realizing the power of the act.

When it comes to Lordís angels at work, sometimes "We may not behold them, Our Vision is Dim". Whether we recognize angels in others ó or in ourselves, we need them to "bear us up."

The Lord may use you to carry out part of the work of his angels. You may not realize your contribution to one in need is angel work. But when your act is delivered with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord can move mountains in the eyes of the receiver.

We still have angels. We still need them. When you see an angel at work, do not forget to thank the Lord and thank the angel.

Of Men and Angels

by Don R. Richards

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Article from The Banner of Love
Volume 69 - Number 7 | July 2001