Monday, December 21, 2015

Roles and Duties of Angels

 In this study, we explore what types of assignments angels have.   We also look at whether or not each person has a guardian angel assigned to them, and whether nations have angels assigned to them.
Acts 27:21-24
Luke 2:8-11
Gen 18:20 - 22
Job 1:6
Revelations 1:1-2
Rev 5:11-12
Hebrews 1:6
Psalms 91:9-12
Daniel 6:19-22
Acts 12:21-23
2 Kings 19:35
Luke 16:22-23
Matthew 13:37-43
Jude 1:9
Rev 8:4
Acts 12:5-7
Daniel 10:12
Hebrews 1:13-14
Matthew 4:11
Matthew 26:52-53
Matthew 13:40-42
Matthew 18:10
Acts 12:13-15
Daniel 10:10 - 14
Daniel 10:20-21
Rev 1:10-11
Rev 1:20 - 2:1

Roles - What Do Angels Do?
Roles of angels include:
  • Messengers
  • Revealing divine prophecy
  • Praising and worshiping of God
  • Protecting us from harm
  • Delivering our prayers to God and executing God’s answers to our prayer
  • Administering God's judgments and punishment
  • Bring the righteous to Heaven after death
  • Serving and minister to us

We’ll also discuss whether we have (personal) Guardian Angels


Messengers to Humans

Foretell The Future

Acts 27:21-24
21After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’

Luke 2:8-11
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Messengers to God

Research and provide information for God about human affairs

Gen 18:20 - 22
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[d]
  • The two angels went to Sodom and Gomorrah to tell God what was going on there

Job 1:6
6 One day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came with them.
  • Satan is the accuser assigned to deliver the bad news to God
  • We can assume that the other angels were delivering news to God about human affairs as well

Reveal Divine Prophecy

Revelations 1:1-2
1The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
  • Who was the revelation from?
    • Jesus Christ
  • How did He deliver the message?
    • by an angel

Praise and Worship

Praise and Worship God

Rev 5:11-12
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
   to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
   and honor and glory and praise!”
  • Where the living creatures around the throne angels
    • probably not since they were mentioned separately from the angels

Worship Jesus

Hebrews 1:6
6And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”c

Protect Us From Harm

Psalms 91:9-12
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” [YHVH machaseh]
 and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
 no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
 to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
 so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
  • What did David say would make the angels choose to protect you?
    • You declare that God is your refuge [shelter]
    • then God will command them to

Daniel 6:19-22
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”  
21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
  • How did the angel decide to go help Daniel?
    • God commanded him to

We see that the angels will protect us.  When they do so it is initiated by an order from God.

Administering God’s Justice / Punishment

Acts 12:21-23
21On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

2 Kings 19:35
35That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!

Bring the Righteous to Heaven After Death

Luke 16:22-23
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Matthew 13:37-43
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Jude 1:9
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Deliver Prayers

Deliver Prayers to God

Rev 8:4
The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up before God from the angel's hand.

Execute Answers to Prayers

Acts 12:5-7
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Daniel 10:12
12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

To Serve

Serving Christians

Hebrews 1:13-14
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand
 until I make your enemies
 a footstool for your feet”[g]?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
  • Who else do they serve?
    • Christians

Serving Jesus

While on Earth

Show how Jesus directs the angels now, but needed to go through God while He was a human

Matthew 4:11
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended* [ministered to] him.
  • Who did they serve here?
    • Jesus

diakonéō ("to serve") means caring for the needs of others as the Lord guides in an active, practical way.

Matthew 26:52-53
52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
  • Did Jesus say He would have called to the angels directly to help him?
    • no, He said could would have sent them

Jesus never commanded angels directly while on earth, but does now that He is in Heaven.

After He’s In Heaven

Matthew 13:40-42
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
  • Does Jesus command angels now?
    • yes
  • Are Jesus’ angel’s different than God’s angels?
    • ??

Guardian Angel (Personal Angels)

There are 2 verses people use to prove the existence of guardian angels...

Matthew 18:10
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
  • Who is this verse referring to?
    • children
  • Is it clear whether a specific angel is assigned to a specific child?
    • no

This verse doesn’t really prove the existence of a guardian angel because:
  1. it implies some relationship with the angles that children have that adults don’t have
    • so if this refers to guardian angels it would imply that adults don’t have them
  2. it doesn’t clearly give an implication of specific angels assigned to specific children

It's thought that this verse is about angels having a duty of care for ALL children. In the Jewish religion and culture there is an 'age of accountability' when children become 'adults' and responsible for their own decisions and actions. This is also known as the 'Bar or Bat Mitzvah' (which means 'one to whom the commandments apply') and is between the ages of 12 and 13.
It is thought that ALL children 'belong to God' until this age – when they can decide for themselves whether to follow God or not. During this time, angels have a duty of care over them.  You'll see from the verse that the angels are still in heaven during this time, not here on earth and it doesn't say that it's 'one angel per person'!

After Peter Got Out of Jail

Acts 12:13-15
13Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

It was a common opinion among the Jews, that every man had his particular guardian angel, who frequently assumed both his shape and voice. But this is a point on which the Scriptures are silent.

Some different views of what this verse means include:
  1. they thought Paul’s guardian angel was at the door
  2. they thought Paul had died and his risen spirit was at the door

Some say each Christian has an angel and a demon assigned to him.  

I cannot say conclusively whether each Christian has a guardian angel assigned to him or her, based on what’s stated in the bible.   

I actually have a different view of the meanings of these verses that we’ll discuss in the next lesson.

Angels Assigned to Groups of People?

Angels Over Nations

Daniel 10:10 - 14
10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
  • Who was the being that came to respond to Daniel’s prayer?
    • an angel
  • What did he tell Daniel about his prayers?
    • that God heard them
    • that he was coming to bring back the answer
    • that the “prince of the Persian kingdom” detained him from bringing the answer
  • Who helped this angel bring the answer to prayer?
    • the angel Michael
  • Who was the prince of the Persian kingdom?
    • the angel assigned over the Persian kingdom
  • Was he an angel aiding God?
    • no

Daniel 10:20-21
20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
  • What other prince/angel is mentioned?
    • the prince/angel of Greece
  • What does it mean that Michael is “your prince”?
    • Michael is the angel over Israel

Rev 1:10-11
10On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
  • Where these 7 churches 7 different congregations?
    • no, “church” referred to  the Christians of that geographic area

Rev 1:20 - 2:1
20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angelse of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
1“To the angela of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.
  • Was John writing directly to ”the church” in Ephesus?
    • John was writing to the angel assigned to the church in Ephesus

We see that there was an angel assigned to Ephesus, and similarly to each of the 7 churches or cities.   These were angels assigned to the specific geographic region, but they are specifically assigned to the Christians of that area, and they angels serve God.  

We saw that the angel over Persia who was not serving God, or at a minimum he was not  assisting God’s people at the moment.  There is also the possibility that when God turned His back on Israel as He did at various times in the Old Testament that the angel over whatever geographic region they were in also turned their back on them.  It is likely that they’re angel, Michael, would never turn his back on them

There are angels assigned to each nation.  There are angels assigned to aid the Christians of each nation.    Some say that there is an angel and a demon over each nation.  Another alternative is that there is a single angel over each nation and that angel may either be bad or good.   

Before Satan took the third of the angels they each had an assignment.  It’s not clear if they all gave up that assignment when they rebelled against God.

What we can clearly gain from scripture is:
  • there are angels assigned to nations
  • there are angels assigned to aid Christians within the nations
  • there are angels that will aid you in obtaining answers to prayers
  • there are angels that will oppose you in getting answers to prayers

Note: We discussed last week that Jesus is now the only mediator for us, so we can get prayers to God and get responses directly via Jesus now.


Some angels minister directly to God:
  • praising and worshiping God

Other angels serve God by interacting with us:
  • reporting status on human affairs to God
  • Delivering messages from God to humans
  • Deliver prayers to God and executing God’s answer to the prayer
  • Revealing divine prophecy to humans
  • Administering judgment
  • Bringing Christian to Heaven after death
  • Serving and ministering to humans
  • Server over specific geographic regions, and churches

We need to remember that, now that Jesus is our only mediator, He’s all we need to get our prayers to God and get the answers.  

In the bible, we don’t see Jesus’ or any of the apostles directly praying to or making unsolicited requests to angels.  In all instances the angels were directed by God.   Even Jesus went through God to command the angels while He was on earth.  Although we do know that once Jesus ascended to Heaven, He now has command over the angels.  

Jesus gave His disciples authority over demons when they acted “in the name of Jesus”.  Demons are bad angels.  So when the disciples acted in Jesus’ authority, they obtained an authority higher than some of the angels.


Some angels minister directly to God:
  • praising and worshipping God

Other angels serve God by interacting with humans:
  • reporting status on human affairs to God
  • Delivering messages from God to humans
  • Deliver prayers to God and executing God’s answer to the prayer
  • Revealing divine prophecy to humans
  • Administering judgment
  • Bringing Christian to Heaven after death
  • Serving and ministering to humans
  • Serve over specific geographic regions

Presenter: Michael Leadon 


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