Luke 2:8-20
by Derek Gentle

Introduction- Angels are mentioned 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 in the New Testament.

They are so numerous that the Bible says that they number, "Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands" (Revelation 5:11)

There are different kinds of angels-

The cherubim guard the holiness of God (Psalm 99:1; Genesis 3:24)
The seraphim proclaim the holiness of God (Isaiah 6)
Michael, the arch-angel (Jude 9; 1st Thessalonians 4:16)
Gabriel - the royal messenger
Together, angels make up the heavenly army or "hosts" (Psalm 24:10; contrast Ephesians 6:12)

Angels are created beings (Colossians 1:16)

Angels are not people who have died and gone to heaven

Angels are spirit beings - "Ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1:14)

With one possible exception in Zechariah 5, angels appear visibly as men.

Sometimes they appear as ordinary men (Genesis 18-19) and at other times they appear with the glory of God (Luke 2:9; Matthew 28:1-4).

Only Cherubim and Seraphim are said to have wings, though Gabriel and one unnamed angel in Revelation 14 are said to fly.

Angels are of a higher created order than humans and have super-human powers, but they are not all-powerful, as is God, nor all-knowing (Psalm 84-5; Mark 13:32)

Angels are sexless and do not marry or have children ( Matthew 22:30)

There is coming a day when Christians in their glorified condition will be higher than the angels and will help judge the angels (1st Corinthians 6:3)

Angels were created with the ability to make moral choices. The results of those choices are now fixed for the "holy angels" (Mark 8:38) and for the "evil spirits", also known as demons. The devil and the demons will be cast into hell at the end of history (Matthew 25:41)

There is an invisible struggle which goes on between the holy angels and evil spirits. (Daniel 10:10-13)

Angels were created to worship God and to minister to God's people -
"Are they not ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:14

The doctrine of angels is not a matter of wild speculation, but is a practical doctrine with practical implications. Some of these include:

1. Be Confident of Knowing God's Guidance - Angels sometimes give Direction

Luke 2:10-12 Matthew 1:18-21

2. Follow their Example and Praise the Lord - Luke 2:13-14

3. Be Courageous - Angel Sometimes Protect Us

Matthew 2:13-15

Daniel 6:22 "My God sent His angels and shut the lion's mouth so that they have not hurt me"

Acts 12

4. Be Gracious - Angels Sometimes Spot-check Us

Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some unwittingly entertained angels"

5. Be a Soul Winner - Angles Rejoice over One Sinner who Repents

Luke 15:10 "For there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner who repents"

6. Be Reverent - Angels are Present with the Church

1st Corinthians 11:10 "For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the angels"

7. Be Expectant - Angels will Gather Us to the Lord

Mark 13:27 - "And then He will His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven"