What Do Angels Do?

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


What do you think about when you think of Angels?

Would it be Cupid? A baby angel with wings and a bow and arrow.

Perhaps Gabriel comes to mind. He is the angel who delivered messages to Mary, the mother of Jesus and Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist.

Let's ask the Question: WHAT DO ANGELS DO?

Angels praise and worship God

God made the heavens and their host: "You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You" Neh 9:6.

The word HOST is defined in Strong's Concordance #6635 as: "a mass of persons."

This host or mass of persons are the angels: "Then Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left"" 1 Kings 22:19.

How big is the host of heaven?

The Apostle John gives us the answer in the book of Revelation: "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" (Rev 5:11).

Jesus is to be worshiped by all of the angels: "But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him (Jesus)" (Heb 1:6).

There are twenty-four elders sitting around God's throne: "Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads" (Rev 4:4).

Is it possible that God created angels at different times? This could be similar to the Elder form of government that was established in ancient Israel in the Old Testament.

Letís notice how the twenty-four elders worship God: "the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: {11} "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created" (Rev 4:10-11). See also Rev 7:11.

Angels are musically inclined

Some of the angels sit at Godís throne and play harps: "Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev 5:8).

The angels sang when Jesus was born: "Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. {9} And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. {10} Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. {11} "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. {12} "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." {13} And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: {14} "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:8-14).

The Expositor's Bible Commentary of the New Testament says: The "heavenly host," which often meant heavenly bodies in the Old Testament, refers here to an army or band of angels (cf. 1 Kings 22:19).

This multitude of the heavenly host was praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

The word "Saying" in Strong's Concordance #3004 says: (fig.) relate in words usually of systematic or set discourse."

The angels could have said this in unison like a chant or perhaps sang it like a "one-verse hymn" similar to one that has been titled the Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Latin for "glory to God in the highest"). I would imagine it would have sounded like a majestic choir will all ranges of harmony.

Angels have responsibilities - some are assigned to the Churches

Letís notice that in the book of Revelation that each of the seven churches had itís own angel or messenger: "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches" (Rev 1:20).

"To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands" (Rev 2:1).

"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life" Rev 2:8.

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword" Rev 2:12.

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass" Rev 2:18.

"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead" Rev 3:1.

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" Rev 3:7.

"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God" Rev 3:14.

Angels and Demons may be assigned to countries

Letís begin in Daniel 10:5 "I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!" This phrase "a certain man" was the Angel Gabriel who appeared as a man to Daniel. See Daniel 9:21.

Dan 10:12-13 "Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. {13} "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia."

The prince of the kingdom of Persia was an evil angel (a demon) who resisted letting Gabriel through to see Daniel, and Michael the archangel (Jude 1:9) of God had to come and assist Gabriel.

Letís continue in Daniel 10:20-21: "Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. {21} "But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince."

Now we see another evil angel mentioned, "the prince of Greece". So it is possible that certain countries, especially those countries involved in prophecy and end time events have angels and demons assigned to them.

In the end time there will be an angelic war in heaven in which Michael and Godís angels will fight against Satan and the demons. Satan and the demons will be defeated and cast out of heaven to the earth: "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, {8} but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. {9} So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Rev 12:7-9).

Angels protect us

People who trust in God and obey Him will be protected by His angels.

Letís begin in Psalms 91:1-2: "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. {2} I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." ..... {10}"No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; {11} For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. {12} In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone."

The following passage indicates that the people of God are protected by God's angels: "The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them" Psalms 34:7.

An angel was watching over Peter and helped to released him from prison: "Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. {8} Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." {9} So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. {10} When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him" Acts 12:7-10.

Let notice how an angel protected Daniel from his severe trial of being thrown into the lionís den: "My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you" Dan 6:22.

An Angel was looking over Daniel and delivered him from the hungry lions.

We need to pray daily to God for His protection upon ourselves and our families and He promises to set His angels over us and protect us.

Angels are Servants

God has set His angels around His people to protect them and to minister and serve them: "But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"? {14} Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:13-14.

We, as Godís people, are to inherit salvation and eternal life. We are Godís children and as our Father, He takes very good care of us.

Notice in the following passage that we are not to worship angels: "Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. {9} Then he (the angel) said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God" Rev. 22:8-9.

The angel corrected John and told him to worship God.

Angels Protect our Children

"Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, {3} and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. {4} "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. {5} "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. {6} "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." {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" Mat 18:2-6.

Jesus said that children have angels who are in contact with God the Father in heaven.

This passage could be dual. These "little ones" could also be referring to new Christians in the faith. People had better be careful not to offend and turn them from God. We all must have a childlike attitude and surrender to the will of God and obey Him.

God considers our children holy and He sets them apart and He will protect them. "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy" 1 Cor 7:14.

After a child is born we generally have the "blessing of the little children" with the "laying on of hands" and a prayer to ask God to protect them. This shows God that we want his involvement in our children's lives. This is an outgoing sign that we want God to protect them and to lead them in His truth and His way of life.

Angels Rejoice when a Sinner Repents

From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God wants His people to repent and obey Him. Jesusí gospel message involved preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and instructing the people to repent: "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, {15} and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel"" (Mark 1:14-15).

When a person repents, notice what happens in heaven: "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" Luke 15:10.

Angels are witnesses

We all will appear before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor 5:10).

Letís notice who the witnesses are before the court of Christ: "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. {9} "But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God" Luke 12:8-9. The angels are the witnesses of which Jesus, the Son of Man, will testify to.

Some Angels are Fighters

In the end time when the angelic war occurs, Satan and the demons will be cast out of heaven by Michael the archangel and his army of angels: "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought" Rev 12:7.

As stated earlier in this article, Michael and his army of angels came to the rescue of the angel Gabriel who was trying to go see Daniel. See Daniel 10:13, 20-21.

Angels deliver messages for God

It seems that God uses Gabriel when He has a special message to be delivered.

Gabriel delivered this message to Daniel: "And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision" Dan 8:16. Gabriel is also mentioned in Daniel 9:21: "yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering."

Gabriel is also mentioned in the story of the birth of John the Baptist: "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. {12} And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. {13} But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John" Luke 1:11-13. The angel is identified in Luke 1:19 as Gabriel.

Luke 1:18-19 "Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." {19} And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings."

The Ryrie Study Bible says: "Gabriel: An angel, whose name means "hero of God" and who often brought important messages to various individuals (Dan. 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26). The only other good angel mentioned by name in the Bible is Michael (see 10:13; Jude 9).

God sends Gabriel to Mary and tells her that she will bear Godís son: "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, {27} to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. {28} And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" {29} But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. {30} Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. {31} "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. {32} "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. {33} "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." {34} Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" {35} And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. {36} "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. {37} "For with God nothing will be impossible." {38} Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her" Luke 1:26-38.

Angels can eat food

One day Abraham had special guests for dinner: "Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. {2} So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, {3} and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. {4} "Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. {5} "And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant." They said, "Do as you have said." {6} So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes." {7} And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. {8} So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate" (Gen 18:1-8).

Gen 18:33 reveals who one of the dinner guests was: "So the LORD went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place."

The three visitors appear as "men," but one is identified as the "Lord" in Gen. 18:13 and 33.

The other two "men" accompanying Jesus were angels as you glean from Gen. 19:1 which says: "Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground."

Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, who called Abraham his friend, must have enjoyed Abraham's friendship very much to stop for a visit and a meal.

Letís notice a comment from the Believerís Study Bible "This passage involves another Christophany (cf. 16:7; 32:24; Josh. 5:13-15; Judg. 13:18, notes). The three visitors appear as "men," but one is identified as the "Lord" (v. 13). Possibly the other two "men" accompanying Him were angels (19:1). The outstanding visitor, perhaps the preincarnate Christ, assumed control of the conversation and foretold the miraculous birth of Isaac."

What Do Angels Look Like?

Some angels may appear to look like men but others look like animals: "Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. {7} The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. {8} The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within."" (Rev 4:6-8).

On the humorous side, be careful in saying to your wife or girl friend that she has the face of an angel. It could be interpreted that you are saying that she has the face of a calf.

In Conclusion:

What do angels do?

Angels worship God, serve God and deliver messages for God.

It appears that they are assigned to: the Churches of God and to countries involved in end time prophecies.

Angels are fighters and protect God's people including their children.

Angels rejoice when a sinner repents.

Angels are busy serving God and God's people.