10. The ministry of angels

As we approach the return of Jesus, there is going to be a greater involvement of angels in the church and in our personal lives. The angels will partnership with the body of Christ to bring about God’s end time purposes on the earth and to bring in the last great end time harvest of souls. In Matthew 13:39 we read, “… the harvest is at the end of the age and the reapers are the angels.”  We as the church will not be able to fulfill God’s end time purposes without the co-operation and partnership with his angels.

Various truths about angels

1: We each have angels assigned to us:  Jesus said of children in Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” We notice the words, “their angels” which implies that everyone who is born has an angel or angels assigned to them. Many times we are not even aware of how many time they have helped us, protected us and ministered to us. As I look back in my own life I realize that their have been many times I have been saved from accidents, where I should have died. It is obvious that the angels of God have protected me and saved me many times, over and over. In Psalm 91:12, the Passion Translation says: “God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm.”

2. Angels appear in various formsFirstly an angel can appear as a glorious, mighty and majestic being. Sometimes they are so awesome, that people often fell down and wanted to worship them. In Revelations 22:28 John wanted to fall down and worship an angel. The angel stopped him and said that he was just a fellow servant. There are many examples in the Bible, as well as modern day testimonies of angels appearing to people. Some people have a unique gift where they can see angels almost all the time. Many of them say that some of the angels were very big and majestic.  These angels can appear in person or they can appear in dreams and visions. For example in Matthew chapter 1, an angel appeared to Joseph in four different occasions in a dream. In Genesis 31:11, an angel appeared to Jacob in a dream. In Acts 16, an angel appeared to Paul in a vision.

 Secondly, angels can appear as humans or even as animal. That is why we are warned in Hebrews 13:2: “And show hospitality to strangers, for they may be angels from God showing up as your guests.” (TPT)  In Judges 13:16, when an angel appeared to Manoah, the father of Samson we read, “For Manoah knew not that he was a an angel of the Lord.” There are many examples in the Bible and modern day testimonies where this has happened. Thirdly, we can sense the presence of angels even if we do not see them. When there is an unusual presence of the Holy Spirit, it often means that there is also the presence of angels.

3: Two types of angels: There are two types of angels, cherubim and seraphim. The cherubim are probably more numerous than the seraphim. We read in Ezekiel 10:4,And then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub …” Cherubim are often present when there is a strong presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit. We are more likely to encounter cherubim angels than encounter seraphim angels.

The second group of angels is the seraphim. They are very powerful angels that have six wings and minister before the throne of God. These angels appear in God’s throne room. We read about them in Isaiah 6:1-2.  “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne … Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: … And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”  The four living creatures that we read about in Revelations 4:8 are probably seraphim angels. It says there, “And the four living creatures, each having six wings …” These angels are very powerful and are sent out on very important assignments and will be more prevalent on the earth as we approach the return of Jesus.

4: The number of angels: There are millions or even billions of angels in heaven. Hebrews 12:22 it speaks about “an innumerable company of angels.” They are probably more numerous than humans. In 2 Kings 6:16, Elisha said to his servant, “Those that are with us are more than those that are with them.” He was referring to the angels armies that surrounded them. If only a third of the angels followed the devil when he was cast out of heaven, then it means that we have twice as many angels that are for us than the demonic angels that are against us. God has skewed the victory in our favour!

5: The archangels: The highest ranking angels are the archangels. There were originally three archangels, Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer. Lucifer rebelled and became Satan. Gabriel is the archangel, who was often used to bring an important message from God. In Luke 1:19: Gabriel appears to Zacharias and said, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God … to bring you these glad tidings.” Gabriel also appeared to Daniel to give him God’s word concerning the nation of Israel and the end times.

Michael is the archangel that watches over Israel and that is in charge of the army of angels. Gabriel spoke of Michael to Daniel and called him “Michael, your prince.” He was implying that Michael was the prince of the children of Israel. In Daniel 10, Michael is described as a magnificent, mighty and glorious angel and the most powerful of all the angels. In Revelations 13:7-9, we read how Michael and his angels conquered the dragon (the devil) and his angels and cast them out of heaven.

6: The Angel of the Lord: In the Old Testament, we have many instances where the Angel of the Lord appeared. Many believe that that in many of these cases, the Angel of the Lord was Jesus. For example, three angels appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18:2. Abraham addressed one of them as “Lord”. In verse 13 we read, “The Lord said to Abraham…”  Abraham then intercedes to the Lord, one of the three men for the salvation of Sodom. In verse 33 we read, that the “Lord went His way.” The two remaining angels then go into Sodom and meet with Lot. In Joshua, chapter 5, Joshua meets the Angel of the Lord, the commander of God’s angel army, and worships Him. There are also other examples in the Bible.

7: Angels are very powerful and have miraculous powers:  In Hebrews 2:7 we read that man was made “a little lower than the angels.” They are of greater rank and authority than humans, therefore; they should be treated with great respect. There are many examples of their miraculous powers. In Acts 12 and angel released Peter from prison, caused his chain to fall off and opened the prison doors and the gates of the city. In Genesis 19, the two angels caused blindness to come on those who attacked the house of Lot and caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In 2 Kings 19:35 we read how an angel slew 185 000 Assyrian soldiers in the time of King Hezekiah. Today, we have these same angels working with us and helping us. That is why Elisha said to his servant, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them!

8: Angels accompany the Holy Spirit:  The phrase ‘The Lord of Hosts’ appears nearly 400 times in Scripture. In the original Hebrew it means the ‘Lord of the angel armies.’ Those who have had a lot of interaction which angels believe that this refers to the Holy Spirit, He is the Lord of hosts! Whenever there is a strong manifestation of the anointing and the presence of the Holy Spirit, there is usually the presence of many angels. For example, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, there was a sound of a mighty rushing wind that was heard over the city. It was the arrival of angels, and the sound that they heard was probably the sound of their wings. They also saw “tongues of fire” on the heads of the disciples. In Hebrews 1:7 we read, “Who makes His angels spirit and His ministers, a flame of fire.”

In many of the healing revivals that have taken place, some have seen the manifestation of healing angels laying hands upon the sick. Smith Wiggelsworth often saw a hand appearing on sick people. When he laid his hand upon this hand, people were healed. He was accompanied by a healing angel. There are many different functions of angels as well. There are also warring angels, guardian angels, ministering angels, government angels and angels that lead and guide us.

The Ministry of angels:

1: They protect us and fight for us: There are many examples in the Bible of how God fought with the children of Israel.  It is obvious that God’s angels must have been involved in the many of the wars that the Children of Isreal fought in the Old Testament. God said to Joshua Exodus 33:2: “And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite…” We read in Joshua 10:42: “…the Lord fought for Israel.” As they did the fighting, God did the defeating! In the same way, as we do spiritual warfare, God, through His angel armies gives us the victory.

We see this in the life of David. He fought many battles and had victory after victory because God’s angel armies assisted him. For example God says to him in 2 Samuel 5:24,And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” The sound of marching that David heard was the arrival of the arrival of the angel army that enabled him to defeat the Philistines. There are other examples as well in the scriptures. In 2 Kings 6 we read how the angels gave the children of Israel victory over the Syrian army and struck them with blindness. In 2 Kings 19:35 we read how an angel slew 185000 Assyrian soldiers in the time of King Hezekiah. In 2 Chronicles 20:22 we read how “The Lord sent ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir.”

In Ephesians 6:12 we read: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The battles we fight in life are not only in the natural realm, there are spiritual forces that control people. We will not win battles in the natural realm until we win the battles in the spirit realm, and for that we need the assistance of angels.

2: They enable us to fulfil our calling and destiny:  In Hebrews 1:14 we read that the angels are, “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” We are the heirs of salvation because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:17 says that we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” God has assigned angels to help us fulfill our calling and destiny.

When Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac, he said to him in Genesis 24:40: “And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send His angel with thee and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:” Angels have various ministries and gifts and are very anointed. Angels can also enable us to reach our goals, fulfill our callings, give us financial breakthroughs in our businesses, lead us to meet the right people at the right time and assist us in many different ways.

3: They instruct us and inform us what God wants us to do: There are many examples of this in the Bible. In Judges Chapter 6 an angel instructed Gideon and told him what God wanted him to do. An angel instructed the parents of Samson on how to raise him. Many of writers in the Bible received their revelations via angels. In Acts 27 we read how an angel of God appeared to Paul in the storm at sea. The early believers had regular interaction with angels. Today, in our present time there are thousands of testimonies of those who have interacted with angels. In fact, many Muslims that have turned to Christ had done so because of the ministry of angels.

However, there is a word of precaution. The information and truths we receive from angels must be scriptural and according to God’s values and principles. The word of God has preference over the word of angels. That is why Paul writes in Galatians 1:8 and says, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel than what you have received, let him be accursed.” We are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light! There are many who have been deceived and led into error because they followed angels instead of believing the word of God. An example of this was Joseph Smith who started the Mormon Church. He was deceived by an angel of Satan called Moroni.

4: They deliver us and protect us:  An angel delivered Peter from prison. An angel closed the mouths of the lions when Daniel was in the den of lions. We read in Psalm 91:11-12: “God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm.  If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you and keep you from stumbling.” (TPT) I have heard of many examples how people have been protected and delivered by angels.

How to partnership with the angels of God:

1: Through authoritative declarations, decrees and proclamations:  In Psalm 103:20 we read: “Bless theLord, you His angels, who excel in strength, whodo His word, heeding the voice of His word.”  The Passion Translation says: “Who listen intently to the voice of His word to do it.” The Amplified Bible says: “Hearkening to the voice of His word.”  God gives His word and when we give a voice to His word, angel activity is released to bring His word to pass. That is why it is so important to always speak positive, faith inspired words based on the Word of God. That is why, “the power of life and death are in the tongue!”

We also read in Psalm 68:11-12, “The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those who proclaimed it: “Kings of armies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home divides the spoil.” In other words, God gave the word, a great company of believers (or women) proclaimed it. The armies of the enemy flee and their goods are plundered because of the angels armies that were released by the words that they proclaimed.

I recently heard the testimony of a pastor who had a vision of many thousands of warrior angels sent to the earth to assist the church to bring in the last end time harvest and to manifest God’s glory on the earth. He noticed that these angels had bows but no arrows in their bows. The Lord told him that as we, the church, declare God’s word with authority we place arrows into their bows which will enable them to carry out their God given assignments. Angel activity is activated by the words we declare! When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness Jesus declared the word of God, saying: “It is written!” In Matthew 4:11 we read, “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came to minister to Him.” Our faith filled words activate angel activity.

There is however a word of caution: We have not been given the authority or the right to directly command angels to do things for us. That authority belongs to the Lord. However, we can ask the Lord for angelic help or we can use our authority in Christ and declare God’s word or will over a given situation.

2: Through our prayers:  In Isaiah 37 we read how the army of the Assyrians surrounded Jerusalem. We read in verse 15:Then Hezekiah prayed.” In verse 36 we read: “Then the angel of the Lord went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty five thousand…” We have the example of Peter in the book of Acts. In Acts 12:35 we read: “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” God then sent an angel to free Peter from his prison. Praying to the Father in the Name of Jesus releases angelic activity. There are many testimonies of how angels appeared to those during times of prayer and fasting. In Acts 10 we have the example of Cornelius. An angel appeared to him and told him what to do while he was in a time of prayer and fasting.

3: Through praise and worship and unity in the church: In 2 Chronicles 20:22 we read: “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” Praise is a form of Spiritual warfare, because God is enthroned in the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3) We also read in Psalm 149:6-9Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, …” Praise and the declaration of the word of the Lord releases angelic activity to minister to us and fight for us.

In Genesis 28 we read about Jacob’s dream about a ladder touching heaven and earth where he saw angels ascending and descending on this ladder. In verse 17 Jacob exclaims, “This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.” In other words, the house of God, which is the church, is also referred to as the gate of heaven. When believers come together to worship and praise the Lord, it can open the ’gate of heaven’ for angels to appear.

4: Praying and singing in the Spirit attracts angelic activity:  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:2When someone speaks in tongues, no one understands a word he says, because he’s not speaking to people, but to God – he is speaking intimate mysteries in the Spirit.” (TPT) When we pray or sing in tongues, we are connecting with the unseen spirit world where angels exist. That is why tongues is referred to as the “language of angels” in 1 Corinthians 13:1.

5: Preaching the gospel often releases angelic activity: In the beginning of this study we read in Matthew 13:39: “… the harvest is at the end of the age and the reapers are the angels.” Therefore, when we preach the gospel and we have a high p[priority to lead sinners to Christ, we can expect the involvement of angels to assist us to do so. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-19: “Go and make disciples …. (verse 19) I will be with you until the ends of the age.” Jesus partners with us through the angels when we live with the intent to reach the lost. In Acts 11 we read how various believers were preaching the gospel. In Acts 11:21 we read: “And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number turned to the Lord.”

Finally: As we approach the return of Jesus, there is going to be an increasing awareness of the ministry of angels, working together with the church in fulfilling God’s purposes in the earth. The more we learn how to partner with the angels that God has sent to assist us, the greater will be the success in our calling and ministry. We are living in an exciting time of history, when we will witness more and more, God’s Kingdom coming and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.