Angels Do Best - and What Can We Learn From It

October 9, 1999

Introduction:
1. When it comes to a study of angels, we have to keep in our mind Ed Glasscock, theology professor, statement:
- “The Bible never really explains angels.  It just makes casual references to their activities.”
- And, any time angels are mentioned, they are simply a part of the overall context of God’s plan as revealed in the Scriptures, NOT the main focus!
2. The purpose of our study of angels (as it is with any study): To learn ways we can more effectively glorify God by being more like His Son, Jesus Christ!
3. There are two very important things that we can learn from angels: One of them is this – we can learn how to worship the Lord with all our heart!
4. Larry Libby, in his book, Somewhere Angels says this:
“I think angels have been worshipping from the time they first opened their eyes and saw God smile.  There are even special angels around God’s throne who never, ever stop praising His name.  They don’t have rest time or recess.  They don’t go home at night because there is no night – and they wouldn’t want to leave God’s side even if there was.  Shouting and singing praise to the Lord is all they do – and all they want to do – forever and ever.”
5. Jesus spoke of angels who “always see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). 
- Imagine what it must be like to be in a continual state of holy worship
- We are so distracted in this life from that – that may be why Paul made some statements like, (2 Timothy 2:4) No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
- We have things that we allow to pull us away from concentrated worship:
• Material things
• Physical difficulties
• Demands placed upon us by others
• The effects of the curse of sin
- Yet God wants us, and teaches us that we can/should worship Him as we work and live
• Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
• Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
1. David Jeremiah, What the Bible Says about Angels: “Of all the things we’ve bungled over the years in the Church, worship is maybe the biggest.  If giving glory to God is mankind’s chief purpose, somehow Satan has gotten us caught up in other agendas.  What goes on in lots of places in the name of worship is not really that at all.  We’ve lost the sense of what it means to truly worship God.”
2. What God’s Word says about angels and what they do best, can help us to rediscover what worship is all about!
- Their kind of worship is REAL worship – and we can learn from them
- Of course I’m referring to the “good” angels – those that did not rebel against God’s authority
3. Angels worship so well because they always obey God perfectly, and worship is one of the things He’s commanded them to do (and us too)
- That command was given in Hebrews 1:6
• Hebrews 1:6 And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, " AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM. "
4. But you might say:
>  Angels live in the presence of God – they are able to stay focused on God – and this is where they get they majesty and awe.  With that kind of lifestyle, how could they be anything but majestic and awesome?
- We need to remember the BENEFITS of “walking by faith, not by sight”
- Remember Jesus’ word in John 20:
• John 20:29 Jesus *said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."
1. We do, however, have something to learn from angels about this issue of WORSHIP
2. Before we begin, let’s do a quick review:
I.  What Are Angels?
- the word simply means “messenger” – and can be used for human messengers
- there are a great numbers of angels – the bible numbers them in the millions (over 100 million)
- we also pointed out that there are different CATEGORIES of angels.
1.  Generic – “Angel” – [non-descriptive/most fit this category]
2.  Seraphim – only mentioned once in Isaiah 6 – connected with worship/praise of God
3.  Cherubim – mentioned far more times in the Scripture (67) – identity is unclear
4.  Archangel – 1 Thes. 4:16; Jude 9


II.  What Is the Nature of Angels?


A. They were created by God.
B. Angels are spirit beings.
- They are persons – i.e. they are being with all the attributes of personality: intellect, feelings, and volition -- they have personalities
- while they are spirit beings, they are not omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent
C.  They were all originally good.


III.  What do angels do?


- The life and world of angels is as involved and as active and as complex as our
- Hebrews 1:14 calls them “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”
A.  Angels continually praise and glorify God.
B.  Angels announce and forewarn (fulfilling their role as “messengers”)
1.  Announcements (conception and birth of some of God’s servants, foremost: Christ)
2.  Forewarnings
-  and whenever Scripture describes any such angelic appearance, the angel ALWAYS appears as a man
>  Masculine pronouns are invariable used to refer to them!
C.  Angels guide and instruct.
*  Now that we have the completed Scriptures there is no need for this.—we have been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3)
D.  Angels minister to believers.
• Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
1.  Carry the souls of believers to heaven
2.  Wage war in a different dimension (spiritual) for the same side
3.  Protect believers from harm.
- Dealt with the issue of “guardian angels” – one angel per person, for protection – see Angels #2 for details!
E.  Angels assist in judgment
1. For our time this evening, I think there are two lessons we can learn about worship that angels teach us the most:
• The fear of God in worship
• The freedom in worship
> What Angels Do Best – and What Can We Learn From It?
  I.  Angels Teach Us to Fear God in Worship.
• Psalm 89:7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?
- “fear of God” = a constant awareness (awesome respect) of God presence and power in my life that motivates me to obedience
- Proverbs makes it clear that a proper “fear of God” is critical to our understanding God, knowing God, and seeing life through God’s eyes
• Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge
• Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom
- the Psalmist uses the word AWESOME
- it’s a shame the this word through overuse and misuse in our culture has lost nearly all the power it once had
 “awesome” = inspiring awe
 “awe” = fear mingled with reverence;  a feeling produced by something majestic and sublime
- to get this, you have to picture seeing what they see – really WHO they see
- They see the one Isaiah describes as “the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace” – they see and understand Him
- And they are seeing without the effects of the curse of sin
- Someday, we will see like that
• 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
Point:  If we are going to worship God properly now, the angels can help us learn how to do that properly!
- first of all they teach us . . .
A.  We need to be more constant in our worship.
• Revelation 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME."
- from all we can tell in Scripture, these spirit beings right now are worshiping in this very manner the same God whom you and I claim as our Lord
- if these holy creatures, awesome as they are, cry out in praise of His holiness “day and night,” how much should we?
 We are cleansed and forgiven by the blood of Christ!
 The angels don’t understand the JOYS of redemption – they rejoice over our salvation, but they can’t rejoice IN our salvation because they have not been redeemed!
Note:  In fact, there will come a day when the angels will stop and listen to the song of the redeemed

Why?  Because they have never experienced what it means to be translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son, the kingdom of light!
- One the points we’ve made in the ABF study of worship:  Worship is not sensitive to time or place!
i.e. you can worship ANY TIME and in ANY PLACE – just don’t do it in the car with your eyes closed!
- Apply this to the workplace, home, corporate worship, personal worship, family worship, at a meal, with your friends
ILL:  Being at The Wilds – 4th falls, on the ball field at night (sky) – Psalm 8!
- Notice also that as the angels worship God, there is another lesson that flows out of example
B.  When we worship properly, we can be influential on others.
• Revelation 4:10 (And whenever those living creatures offer up that praise – 4:8) “The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
- we see that same things again in . . .
• Revelation 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, " To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
• Revelation 7:11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
Point:  they way we worship can have a profound impact on how others respond to God!
- As we worship and after we worship, people ought to say of us what was said of the disciple in Acts 4;13
• Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
- if our worship is not helping others to worship of God and be more effective in their service for God, we need re-examine our style of worship
Notice:  With the angels, they are not concerned about “cultural boundaries” in their worship – they are consumed with what pleases God and gives Him the glory due His name
- I think sometimes we play the “cultural” trump card too often in the favor of our personal “comfort zones” rather than conducting our worship in a manner that is simply consistent with biblical principle
- As a result, our ability to be influential in our worship – to help others grow in their fear of God that motivates them to worship and service – is greatly hindered!
C.  We will someday worship by sight.
- Angels practice the fear of God because they’re already in His presence.
- We must have fear of God because someday we’ll be there too, to see God’s holiness up close and personal!
- In reality, God wants our worship on this earth to be consistent with the way we will worship in Heaven
“We grow in fearing the Lord as we think more clearly about the moment when we’ll appear before Him.  When the time comes to receive our rewards, we’ll stand wholly accountable to God for the responsibilities He’s given us as His children here.  Whatever I’m planning right now, or whatever I’m thinking, or whatever I’m doing, or whatever I’m saying will either count for God’s kingdom or count for nothing.  I’ll find out about it all on that day I stand before Him.” – Jeremiah, What the Bible Says about Angels
• 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
- Part of our goal should be to be growing so much in the likeness of Christ, that when He comes, He has to change as little as possible!
- Paul reminds us that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . . (2 Cor. 5:10)
- Let’s go back to our definition of fear (repeat: a constant . . .)
- While it may be hard for us to grasp the presence of a spirit being – we, by faith, must live and act as though Jesus is with us BECAUSE HE IS!
- Let’s ask some questions:
• Do you handle temptation as though God is watching?
• Do you view every response to temptation as an act of worship?
• If the angels were to evaluate your worship, would they find fault because there is an absence of the fear of God?
• If others were to pattern their private/family/corporate worship as you, would please God?
• How constant are you in worship? Is it just on Sundays or “in church”?
• What about your worship needs to change that will help you better worship God when you see Him face to face?
- Lastly,


II.  Angels Teach Us Freedom in Worship


- Although angels are so perfect in their fear of God, they’re NOT frozen in fear!
- Instead they demonstrate great freedom in their worship
- They’re free to worship God the way he wants to be worshiped
- Several passages show us the angels energy/movementemotion in their relationship with God
• In Ezekiel’s vision he saw the cherubim moving “wherever the spirit would go (1:12) and they “sped back and forth like flashes of lightening” (1:14)
• Jacob’s dream (Gen. 28:12) he saw the angels “ascending and descending” on the stairway leading to the Lord’s presence
• Job 38:7 And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
• Hebrew 12:22 the myriads of angels are described as being “in joyful assembly.”
• Revelation 7:12 saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Point:  The angels are not stiff and frozen in their fear – they are active and emotional beings!
A. We have freedom in our worship to express JOY!
- in Revelation 19, there’s an overflowing of joy marked by four great shouts of “Hallelujah!” from the “great multitude in heaven” (must not be Baptists!)
- They shout to God, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory”
“What a freedom and fullness of joy we see here – and to think it’s all because of what God did for us!  So weren’t we made to worship this deeply too?  If the angels shout “Hallelujah!” on our behalf, surely we can feel free to do it in our own worship as well.” – D. Jeremiah
- in addition . . .
B.  We have the freedom in our worship to express THANKFULNESS!
- Mature believers know that a heart full of thanksgiving is the most fertile soil for freedom in worship
- Psalm 100 is a great picture of the freedom of worship
- “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations.
- Just as God’s holiness is the reason for our fear, so God’s good and faithful love is the reason for our freedom and thanksgiving

Conclusion:
1. Let’s make sure our worship of our Redeemer is growing in fear and freedom as the angels!
2. I’d like to close by singing a couple of songs that will remind us of the things we’ve discussed tonight
• Our God is An Awesome God
• Oh Lord Our Lord How Majestic Is Your Name in All the Earth


“Touched by an Angel” (Part 3)
What Angels Do Best – and What Can We Learn From It.
David Jeremiah, What the Bible Says About Angels: “Of all the things we’ve bungled over the years in the Church, worship is maybe the biggest.  If giving glory to God is mankind’s chief purpose, somehow Satan has gotten us caught up in other agendas.  What goes on in lots of places in the name of worship is not really that at all.  We’ve lost the sense of what it means to truly worship God.”


  I.  Angels Teach Us to Fear God in Worship.


Psalm 89:7
 “awesome” = inspiring awe
 “awe” = fear mingled with reverence;  a feeling produced by something majestic and sublime
A.  We need to be more constant in our worship.
• Revelation 4:8 – “day and night”
B.  When we worship properly, we can be influential on others.
• Revelation 4:10
• Revelation 5:13
• Revelation 7:11
C.  We will someday worship by sight.
“We grow in fearing the Lord as we think more clearly about the moment when we’ll appear before Him.  When the time comes to receive our rewards, we’ll stand wholly accountable to God for the responsibilities He’s given us as His children here.  Whatever I’m planning right now, or whatever I’m thinking, or whatever I’m doing, or whatever I’m saying will either count for God’s kingdom or count for nothing.  I’ll find out about it all on that day I stand before Him.” – Jeremiah, What the Bible Says about Angels
- 1 John 3:2

II.  Angels Teach Us Freedom in Worship


A. We have freedom in our worship to express JOY!
“What a freedom and fullness of joy we see here – and to think it’s all because of what God did for us!  So weren’t we made to worship this deeply too?  If the angels shout “Hallelujah!” on our behalf, surely we can feel free to do it in our own worship as well.” – D. Jeremiah
B.  We have the freedom in our worship to express THANKFULNESS!