Jesus and the Angels

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the
Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
I Timothy 3:16

"And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels
of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."
John 1:51

  1. Introduction:
    1. Since this is communion Sunday, we will take a break from studying Romans and consider Jesus Christ.
    2. My goal is simple – exalt Jesus Christ and His death for sinners by the involvement of the heavenly host.
    3. The gospel is God's good news to His elect of gloriously fantastic mysteries unknown to all natural men.
    4. We must remind ourselves of the glory, power, and knowledge of angels before we consider them with Jesus.
      1. See our detailed examination of this subject: http://www.letgodbetrue.com/sermons/pdf/angels-of-god.pdf.
      2. The Bible declares that man and the incarnate Son of God were made a little lower (Ps 8:5; Heb 2:7,9).
      3. We almost want to make this meiosis, for we see some great differences in nature, ability, and position.
      4. The angels are with God, consulted for assignments, and fly (Job 1:6; I Kings 22:19-22; Daniel 9:20-23).
      5. They have knowledge and major roles in the nations and empires of the earth (Daniel 10:13-14,20-21).
      6. One can be very intimidating and wiped out a battle-trained Assyrian army (Num 22:31; Isaiah 37:36).
      7. One can be very intimidating and killed 70,000 Israelites by pestilence (Dan 10:5-8; II Sam 24:15-16).
      8. Nebuchadnezzar with God's revelation knew about the watchers and army of heaven (Dan 4:13,17,35).
      9. The Bible calls God the Lord of hosts, or Captain of heaven's armies, about 235 times (Ps 24:10; etc.).
      10. Angels can do wondrously in performing feats we can only dream about (Gen 3:24; 19:11; Judges 6:20-21; 13:19-20; Job 1-2; Dan 6:22; Matt 1:20; Mark 5:13; Luke 1:19-20; John 5:4; Acts 12:1-11; etc.).
      11. We are blind and ignorant to their presence and influence around us (II Kgs 6:16-17; Ps 34:7; Eph 6:12).
      12. Very important for this study is their great knowledge of God's person and nature, the judgment of their peers, the universe in all aspects, the spiritual realm, earthly activities, etc. that totally dwarfs our own.
      13. We want to lift angels up to where the Bible puts them to make sure we appreciate their worship of Jesus!
    5. The first text above is the incontrovertible greatness of the mystery of godliness in the gospel record of Jesus.
      1. See our detailed examination of this text: http://www.letgodbetrue.com/sermons/pdf/mystery-of-godliness.pdf.
      2. Seen of angels exalts Jesus by revealing the mystery of the host of heaven's excitement and involvement.
      3. Angels see most everyone and most everything, so the intent must be a much more intimate involvement.
      4. Job said he saw God (though he did not) by becoming familiar with Him through revelation (Job 42:5).
      5. The angels looked upon Jesus, looked after Him, and were with Him coming and going, as we shall see.
      6. Prior to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ there was no incarnate Son of God or Godman for them to see, but it was His manifestation in flesh that made Him the visible Son of God (John 1:14,18; Heb 1:3; Col 1:15).
      7. Their intimate involvement with Him from conception to ascension is seeing Him in a glorious sense.
    6. The second text above is the mysterious statement Jesus made to His apostles about coming angelic activity.
      1. Note two things about His statement: the Verily, verily of truth, and it was for all present by you and ye.
      2. Some limit this prophecy to the second coming with His angels, but the context is miracles (John 1:50).
      3. Our Lord's prophecy promised further confirmation to Nathanael that He was the Son of God (John 1:49).
      4. The reference to heaven open implies God's blessing and favor upon Jesus Christ (Ezek 1:1; Matt 3:16).
      5. The reference to the angels of God ascending and descending is taken from Jacob's life (Gen 28:12-15).
      6. The apostles saw in coming days a great outpouring of God's revelation and power in the life of Jesus, sometimes visibly ministered by angels, and sometimes invisibly ministered by them. Man's glory pales!
    7. The coming of Jesus Christ the first time was such a great event that the angels of heaven were very involved.
    8. Jesus' redemption of His people is so great that the angels seek to know more (I Peter 1:12 cp Eph 3:8-12).
    9. We shall limit ourselves to New Testament information, though the angels announced the Messiah in the O.T.
  1. Angels explained His conception and birth to Joseph and Mary (Mat 1:18-25; Luk 1:26-38); consider some chief angels of heaven involved at this early stage in revealing details of the secret will of God.
  2. Angels announced His birth in a glorious display at night to shepherds (Luke 2:8-20), which fanfare and words ought to be considered carefully in light of what we know about angels from the Bible. What other birth in the history of the world came attended with such heavenly visitors and praise?!
  3. This should be no surprise, for Jehovah had commanded the angels to worship Him (Heb 1:6), which is a considerable event, given that any man was inferior in comparison, and this Man was but a baby!
  4. When tempted by the devil after His baptism, angels came and helped Him (Matt 4:11; Mark 1:13); note by this action the participation and service they gave Jesus of Nazareth … the Lord of glory!
  5. Even the devil himself knew that Jesus had angels attending Him and could catch Him if he fell from the temple roof, according to the right understanding of Psalm 91:11-12 (Luke 4:9-12).
  6. As we follow our Lord's life in the gospels, in how many events did His angels play a role beyond the ones clearly identified? Glory! There is every reason to believe they were constantly at work.
  7. Fallen angels, the devils of hell, saw the Lord Jesus Christ and worshipped Him as the holy One of God, admitting His lordship and their future judgment under Him (Matt 8:28-32; Mark 1:23-26; 5:1-15; Luke 4:33-37; 8:26-36). Ah, sinner, how dost thou sin with impunity against this great King?
  8. An angel from heaven strengthened Him just before His death, while praying in great earnestness in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46); so they knew the great work of redemption upon Him.
  9. Jesus could have escaped His torture by calling twelve legions of angels – about 72,000 – and they would have come instantly to deliver God's dear Son and destroy His enemies (Matt 26:53-54). Visualize them trembling with eager readiness! They would not have wounded an ear like Peter!
  10. Angels powerfully opened the tomb for the women, paralyzed the guard, declared His resurrection, and commanded the visitors to spread the news (Matt 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-5; Luke 24:1-10,22-23; John 20:11-13), hereby revealing more and more of what they knew about our glorious redemption.
  11. Angels were present on earth at His ascension, for they explained to the questioning apostles what was happening then and what would happen again in our near future (Acts 1:9-11).
  12. Angels were present in heaven at His ascension, for over 100,000,000 of them joined together in one loud voice declaring that the Lamb was worthy of all God would bestow on Him (Rev 5:11-12).
  13. War in heaven followed our redemption by Jesus, as our ancient enemy and foe was thrown out of heaven by the angels of God, and he has been consigned to the earth for a while (Rev 12:7-12).
  14. All angels, principalities, powers, thrones, might, and dominion are now under Him, whether they are those of the elect and holy angels or of the devil and his angels (Eph 1:20-23; Phil 2:10; I Pet 3:22).
  15. The innumerable company of elect angels is in close fellowship with the general assembly of the church, who are saved by Jesus the mediator of the new covenant by His own blood (Heb 12:22-24).
  16. This close relationship between angels and believers is due to their office of servant to us the sons of God, and Jesus warned any man about offending even young believers (Heb 1:14; Matt 18:1-10).
  17. This relationship also includes a measure of human responsibility to service (I Tim 5:21; I Cor 4:9).
  18. We are warned twice about angels watching our conduct – vows and hair (Eccl 5:6; I Cor 11:10).
  19. Angels will soon come with Jesus to wreck vengeance on unbelievers (II Thess 1:7-10; Jude 1:14).
  20. Angels worship God in heaven beside the redeemed Gentiles as they praise the Lamb (Rev 7:9-12).
  21. The holy angels will participate as observers in the great Day of Judgment (Revelation 3:5; 14:9-11).
  1. Conclusion:
    1. If the angels worshipped and served Jesus Christ, even at His birth, what should you be doing about Him?
    2. The glory of Jesus of Nazareth is enhanced by the attendance given to Him by these heavenly beings. If He was worthy of their attention, how much more of ours, for whom He gave His life to make us joint-heirs?!
    3. Men may despise the Son of God and think Him nothing, but mighty angels adore and serve Him carefully.
    4. His birth, temptations, death, resurrection, and ascension demanded heaven's attention – what of ours!
    5. If the angels desire to look into these things, how much attention and affection should you give them (I Pet 1:12)? What things? Those the prophets wrote about … the suffering of Christ and the following glory (1:11).
    6. If God's intent is to educate angels by His love of the church, do you appreciate its worth (Eph 3:8)? They can appreciate forgiveness by a holy God better than we, for they saw their peers damned (Heb 2:16; II Pet 2:4).
    7. If baptism were an option for angels, they would all be baptized today with delay, absolutely! See Ps 103:20.
    8. How appropriate before the Lord's Supper to sing the song, "He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels."
  1. For Further Study:
    1. The sermon outline, The Angels of God.
    2. The sermon outline, Great Mystery of Godliness.
    3. The sermon, Mysteries of Hidden Wisdom.
    4. The sermon outline, Blessed and Only Potentate.