How Were Angels Involved in the Life of Christ?
The coming of Jesus the Messiah was anticipated for thousands of years and prophesied numerous times in the Old Testament. How excited the angels must have been when the time finally came for His advent to earth!
The angel Gabriel
joyfully announced His conception to Mary (Luke 1:26-27), and a multitude of the heavenly host heralded His birth to some very terrified shepherds: "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men"
Thirty years later, angels came and ministered to Jesus when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11). It was none other than an angel who also helped sustain Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when He faced great suffering and death (Luke 22:43).
Angels were the ones who proclaimed Christ's resurrection to the women at the tomb (John 20:12) and appeared to the disciples after Christ's ascension into heaven (Acts 1:10). The Bible tells us that angels will also play a colossal role in the future when Christ returns (Matthew 13:41, 49; II Thessalonians 1:7), for they will carry out God's judgment upon the earth (Revelation 8-9, 14:15-19, 20:1-3).
Do We Have Guardian Angels?
The term guardian angel
is not in the Bible, nor does the Bible give a definitive answer on whether each person is assigned a specific angel.
However, the idea that angels have protective roles is implied in the following passages: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven"
(Matthew 18:10); and "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways"
(Psalm 91:11). In these verses, it is clear that angels guard and protect certain ones both in childhood and throughout their lives.
It seems evident that there is an age of accountability where an angel will withdraw protection if the person indulges in sin and turns from God. For example, after the children of Israel had taken possession of the Promised Land, they served the Lord faithfully for a season. But after the death of Joshua and the elders, the children of Israel began to serve idols. For this reason the angel of the Lord said that he would no longer drive out the inhabitants of the land (Numbers 33:55). Another example is when two angels brought Lot and his wife out of Sodom before the Lord destroyed it with fire. The angels were merciful to them, but when Lot's wife turned back to look at Sodom, she was left to her fate (Genesis 19:16-17; Luke 17:31-32).
Angels not only watch us (I Corinthians 4:9), but apparently, they also record the deeds of our lives: "Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?"
(Ecclesiastes 5:6). Every person will be judged according to their words and their deeds, whether good or evil. Thanks be to God that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin (Acts 3:19; I John 1:7)!
Some other passages implying that angels have guardian roles are Psalm 34:7, Daniel 10:13, and Revelation 1:20. The New Testament mentions Peter's angel; the believers thought Peter's angel had come to them instead of Peter (Acts 12:15) when really an angel had released Peter from prison. A final verse implying a guardian role is Luke 16:22, when an angel carried the soul of the beggar Lazarus away from earth at his death.
Were it not for the vigilant protection of these heavenly guardians, the lives of God's children would probably be in serious jeopardy from malicious spiritual attacks. There is all around us a raging spiritual war that believers can influence through their prayers (Revelation 8:3-4). Ezekiel 9:1-6 tells how God commissioned a heavenly messenger with a "writer's inkhorn" to go through the streets of the city and "set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof"
(Ezekiel 9:4). This mark of protection was for intercessors, for those who cried out to God because of the wickedness of their city.
Ultimately, no matter how or when angels protect us, it is God who watches over us. The ministry of God's angels will always bring glory to the One Who alone is worthy of all praise.
What Are Cherubim and Seraphim?
are winged creatures that appear in Scripture and make their most memorable appearances in the visions of Ezekiel (1:4-28, 10:3-22), Isaiah (6:2-6), and John (Rev 4:7). Although not specifically called angels
, cherubim and seraphim are revealed as living creatures
or heavenly beings
whose primary purpose is to worship God at His throne.
(also called cherubs) are revealed as powerful guards or attendants to the divine throne. God placed cherubims and a flaming sword at the garden of Eden to guard the way of the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). In the tabernacle and also the temple, gold cherubim on the mercy seat signified the presence of God (Exodus 37:7-9; Numbers 7:89; Psalm 80:1).
In Ezekiel's vision, he saw cherubim as living creatures next to the throne of God, worshipping and serving Him. The cherubim had four faces: man, lion, ox and eagle, although Ezekiel 10:14 replaces the face of the ox with the face of a cherub. Each living creature possessed four wings, two of which covered their bodies, and two of which extended upward. They traveled on what appeared to be a "wheel in the middle of a wheel"
(Ezekiel 1:16) and went in any direction with great speed like a flash of lightning. Their appearance was brilliant like fire and their wings made noise like a great waterfall. What was Ezekiel's reaction? He fell on his face, completely overtaken by the glory of the Lord.
only appear in Isaiah's vision. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne, and seraphims stood over the throne crying out, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: His glory is the fullness of the whole earth"
(Isaiah 6:3 — literal translation).
Seraphim means the burning ones
or flying serpents
. They were similar to cherubim but had six wings, two of which covered their face, two of which covered their feet, and with two wings they flew. What was Isaiah's reaction? He said, "Woe is me...I am a man of unclean lips"
(Isaiah 6:5). He saw his own inadequacy and sinfulness when he encountered the holiness of God! But then one of the seraphim touched Isaiah's lips with a live coal from the altar, and God gave Isaiah a message for the people of Judah.