God’s Word for You
Acts 10:5-6 The angels of God
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, February 26, 2020
5 Send men to Joppa now to bring back a certain man, Simon, who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
While angels were sometimes permitted to proclaim the gospel, such as at the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:10-12), in Acts the angels are generally used by God to connect people to human ministers. Therefore, Cornelius was instructed by this angel to send for Peter.
Almost all religions and philosophies that do not reject God outright have some belief in angels. Mankind suspects the existence of angels, but the only proof that angels do indeed exist is found in the Holy Scriptures. Here in God’s word, angels are shown in their historical context, used by God during and after the act of creation and the subsequent fall of man (Genesis 3:24; Job 38:6-7; Psalm 18:10), and then throughout the Scriptures, including the passage before us today.
The angels were created by God at some time during the six days of creation. If I think they were made on the third day, another man might think that they were made the first or fifth day, and since the Bible doesn’t assign a certain day to their creation, we cannot insist on which one.
The angels are spirits, without physical form, but God permits them to be seen for man’s benefit from time to time (2 Kings 6:17; Luke 2:13). The angels are able to interact with the material world for man’s benefit, such as when angels pulled Lot from his home to rescue him from the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:16), and when an angel struck Peter in the side to wake him up (Acts 12:7).
Each angel has a complete personality, unique to himself. The angel Gabriel has his own way of greeting (“you are highly esteemed,” Daniel 9:23; Luke 1:28). The angel sitting at Christ’s empty tomb rejoiced when he was permitted to proclaim the resurrection, “Now I have told you!” (Matthew 28:7).
The angels are unchangeable. They do not grow, or grow old, or die. They are immortal (Luke 20:36); nothing in their being causes death. Unless otherwise permitted, they cannot be seen. They do not take up a physical amount of space (they are “illocal”), and yet they are in a definite place and not everywhere all at once, as God is.
Angels are quick. They are not confined by natural laws when it comes to travel or movement. Angels have great power; they are “mighty ones” (Psalm 103:20) who are able to carry out the will of God, whatever it might be.
The angels who did not fall with the devil are now “the elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21), confirmed in their holiness and unable to fall into doubt or sin any longer.
The angels desire to know the will of God, and when they are not on an errand of God’s will, they “long to look into” (1 Peter 1:12) the preaching of the gospel, but they are subject to the same Holy Scriptures given to man. Therefore, angels benefit from man’s searching the Scriptures. The angels are delighted when we obey God’s will and find ways to show our faith (1 Corinthians 11:10).
We must not worship or pray to the angels, just as we must not worship or pray to anyone apart from God himself, not even those saints who are now in heaven (Exodus 20:3; Revelation 19:10). We need not ask angels for help in times of need, since they have already been sent by God to do just that (Hebrews 1:14).
Praise God for the help and protection he sends through his angels. Find ways in your life to give God glory with everything that you do, using the good angels as an example, and remembering that we will worship God together with his angels forever in heaven.
Pastor Timothy Smith