Introduction to Touched By an Angel

September 25, 1999

P.M. Services – “Touched by an Angel” – Part 1
* Mention resources: D. Jeremiah,, What the Bible Says About Angels, Lockyer, All the Angels in the Bible; J. MacArthur, The Glories of Heaven,: B. Graham, Angels – books (excellent!)
1. The 1990 has been a decade of pre-occupation with many things – one is ANGELS
2. “Angelmania” = a term used to describe this pre-occupation
• Major magazines have carried the theme
• Best selling books have led the way in this fascination with angels
• Popular TV series entitled, Touched by an Angel
3. That ought to make us ask some questions:
 How significant is all this?
 Is God pleased with all this curiosity?
 How much is actual fact verses fiction?
 Should we be looking around on earth for these heavenly beings?
 Do we push our guardian angel to the limits?
 Better yet, do we even have one?
4. Maybe the angel craze of the 90’s has been another passing fad
>  Or worse, another deceptive tool of Satan to divert people’s spiritual attention away from Truth (i.e. Jesus and the Word of God)
5. On the other hand, could God actually be using this as a part of His divine plan in our lives?
-  This certainly is a day to be a Berean and “search the Scriptures to see whether these things are true.”
6. David Jeremiah, What the Bible Really Teaches about Angels asks this question:
“In God’s mercy and love of sinners, is He suddenly causing a belief in spiritual angels to be more respectable so people can better accept the spiritual message of the gospel – before it’s too late?”
Note:  As usual, the world has another alternative TV show – on witches!
7. There is probably no other theological issue that has received the attention of everyone like this area of angels.
- Time magazine stated:  “Angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgmental.  They are available to everyone, like aspirin.”
-  The wave seems to be continuing into the next millenium!
Point:  This is a great opportunity to do some study and teaching on this subject!
8. Jeremiah, “The biggest danger may well be greater susceptibility to spirituality’s dark side.  Mankind’s mental doorway may be open wider to thinking about religion and eternity, but it’s probably also open wider to Satan’s influences.”
cf.  2 Corinthians 11:14 – Satan masquerades as an angel of light.
- He’s not very creative – his plan hasn’t changed since the garden:  DECEPTION
- Get the attention OFF of God (specifically, Jesus) and put it on something else – ANYTHING!
1. John MacArthur in his book, The Glory of Heaven states, gives some verbatim quotes from the publishers of some of the books on angels:
“The authors teach you nine specific ways your personal angel protects you, how to call out to your guardian angel, and how to get your angel to answer your cry for help and assistance in matters big and small.  You’ll also find out about the Angelic Hierarchy and learn the actual language of the Angelic Kingdom!” (p. 148)
“By utilizing a combination of your birth sign and a specific colored candle, you can obtain the magic and wisdom you want in life by calling upon the angels.  This book contains many spiritual secrets that will guide the reader to success and power” (p. 149).
Q:  What happened to . . .
• Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me.”
• Isaiah 41:10 – “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
1. Millard Erickson, Christian Theology states the following:
“The teaching of Scripture is that He (God) has created these spiritual beings and has chosen to carry out many of His acts through them.  Therefore, if we are to be faithful students of the Bible, we have no choice but to speak of these beings.” (p. 434).
2. A study on angels is challenging!
- While the Bible mentions them often, it never focuses solely on them. 
- The focus is always on God. 
Erickson, “Every reference to angels is incidental to some other topic.  When they are mentioned, it is always in order to inform us further about God, what He does, and how He does it.  Since details about angels are not significant for that purpose, they tend to be omitted.”
1. Let’s begin our study this evening by asking the question . . .

I.  What Are Angels?


- Everything scripture says concerning angels is in connection to something else as the main theme
- There are no pages or passage whose central purpose is to spell out a doctrine of angels – so we can’t uncover as much as we’d like
- We ought to try to know as much about angels as God has determined to reveal to us – and then be content to leave it at that.
- John Calvin:  “Let us here remember on the whole subject of religion one rule of modesty and soberness is to be observed, and it is this – in obscure matters not to speak or think, or even long to know, more than the Word of God has delivered.”
A.  What is the meaning of the word?
1.  “Messenger” (O.T. — Mal’ak;  N.T. — Angelos)
- The form of the word is used over 300 x in bible (NIV)
- Mentioned in 34 of the 66 books
2.  Sometimes used for human messengers
a.  1 Kings 19:2 “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time."
b.  Luke 7:24 “ 7:24 And when the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the multitudes about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
B.  There are great numbers of angels.
- The great hosts of angels were created at one time – and they do not multiply as we humans
cf.  Matthew 22:30 “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage;  they will be like the angels in heaven.”
- Scripture informs us that their number is “legion.”
- But they (the Scriptures) are silent as to the exact number of angels, but God is very clear that the angels are counted in the MILLIONS
• Daniel 7:9 "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. 10 "A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand were standing before Him; The court sat, and the books were opened.”
• Revelation 5:11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."
B.  There are different CATEGORIES of angels.
1.  Generic – “Angel” (messenger)
- These are the non-descriptive angels who do the Lord’s bidding.
- Most angels fit this category.  God did not intend for angels to receive attention.  He alone is worthy of honor and glory.  For that reason only a few of the angels are named.
2.  Seraphim
- They are only mentioned in one passage of the Scriptures and there they are worshipping and praising God.
• Isaiah 6:2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
- It is impossible to be conclusive and dogmatic with so little Scripture devoted to the Seraphim, but some scholars believe they are a special class of angels devoted solely to the worship of God – we’ll see when we get to heaven!
3.  Cherubim
- The cherubim are mentioned far more times in the Scripture.
- 67 times the word is used in Scripture.  Though they are mentioned more often, their identity is still far from clear. 
a. They guarded the tree of life in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were expelled.
b. They are represented on the Ark of the Covenant with their wings touching.
- God has a special function for the cherubim but He did not choose to be much more specific than that.
4.  The Archangel
1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Jude 1:9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you."


II.  What Is the Nature of Angels?


*  What are they like?
A.  They were created by God.
- Look at Job 38:1,4-7
- When God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind, we find a hint as to the time when angels came into being:
• Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
• Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, 5 Who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it? 6 "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
- William George, Commentary on Hebrews, “Angels as first created were after the image of God:  the purest, holiest and readiest to do goodness of any creatures . . . They are the most glorious of God’s creatures.” – (yet, they have limitations, as we will see)
- Lewis Chafer, Systematic Theology, VII, P. 4-5:  “The angels are living beings of the highest position and greatest consequence in the universe.  They are more than mere powers emanating from God.  Thought in no way independent in the sense that they are self-originating, self-sustaining, or capable of self-annihilation, they are free moral beings and , in the past ages at least, held their own destiny within the power of their own choice.”
• Psa 148:2-5  Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!  3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! 4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
 VERY IMPORTANT POINT:  Because they are created beings, they are not ETERNAL; therefore, they are possess the same nature as God – NOT omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent (because they get their power/authority from God – Satan w/Job), etc.
• Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him.
B.  Angels are spirit beings.
• Heb 1:14 Are they (“angel” of v. 13) not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
- As “spiritual messengers,” angels are in the service of God who is spirit (John 4:24), and they conduct their duties according to the character and intents of the Divine Spirit!
Lockyer, All the Angels in the Bible, “As inhabitants of the kingdom of heaven, they are spiritual beings, but they are able to manifest themselves as active and effecting agents in the empirical world.”
“Angels can, and sometimes do, affect an extraordinary likeness to humanity” (we’ll look more closely at that we when study the appearances of angels)
C.  They were all originally good.
• Gen 1:31 And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
1.  They, like man, were given a probationary period.
2.  Some chose to serve God while others, led by Satan, rebelled.
• 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
• Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
“By angels we mean those spiritual beings which God created higher than man, some of whom have remained obedient to God and carry out his will, and others of whom disobeyed, lost their holy condition, and now oppose and hinder his work” (Erickson).


III.  How the Study of Angels Should Help and Encourage Us


A. Use the study to motivate you to have a higher view of God
- Once we honestly study the amazing things the word of God tells us about angel, we actually find ourselves drawn closer to God, instead of being distracted and turned away from Him
- Anyone who goes into a study of angels with a high view of God will away with and an even higher view!
B. Besides God, there is no one o earth or in heaven – not even the angels – who can give your soul true satisfaction, joy, contentment!
• Psalm 42:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.
C. Don’t make the serious error of worshipping the creation instead of the Creator, “who is blessed forever.”

“In God’s mercy and love of sinners, is He suddenly causing a belief in spiritual angels to be more respectable so people can better accept the spiritual message of the gospel – before it’s too late?”
Time: “Angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgmental.  They are available to everyone, like aspirin.”
“The biggest danger may well be greater susceptibility to spirituality’s dark side.  Mankind’s mental doorway may be open wider to thinking about religion and eternity, but it’s probably also open wider to Satan’s influences.”
“The authors teach you nine specific ways your personal angel protects you, how to call out to your guardian angel, and how to get your angel to answer your cry for help and assistance in matters big and small.  You’ll also find out about the Angelic Hierarchy and learn the actual language of the Angelic Kingdom!” (p. 148) -- MacArthur
“By utilizing a combination of your birth sign and a specific colored candle, you can obtain the magic and wisdom you want in life by calling upon the angels.  This book contains many spiritual secrets that will guide the reader to success and power” (p. 149).
Erickson, Christian Theology:
“The teaching of Scripture is that He (God) has created these spiritual beings and has chosen to carry out many of His acts through them.  Therefore, if we are to be faithful students of the Bible, we have no choice but to speak of these beings.” (p. 434).
Erickson: “Every reference to angels is incidental to some other topic.  When they are mentioned, it is always in order to inform us further about God, what He does, and how He does it.  Since details about angels are not significant for that purpose, they tend to be omitted.”


Lewis Chafer, Systematic Theology:  “The angels are living beings of the highest position and greatest consequence in the universe.  They are more than mere powers emanating from God.  Thought in no way independent in the sense that they are self-originating, self-sustaining, or capable of self-annihilation, they are free moral beings and , in the past ages at least, held their own destiny within the power of their own choice.”
Lockyer, All the Angels in the Bible, “As inhabitants of the kingdom of heaven, they are spiritual beings, but they are able to manifest themselves as active and effecting agents in the empirical world.”
“Angels can, and sometimes do, affect an extraordinary likeness to humanity.”
“By angels we mean those spiritual beings which God created higher than man, some of whom have remained obedient to God and carry out his will, and others of whom disobeyed, lost their holy condition, and now oppose and hinder his work” (Erickson).

 

**************
Later message:

APPLICATIONS

(Erickson)
A.  It’s a comfort to know we have powerful, unseen helpers.
cf. 2 Kings 6:17
B.  We ought to follow their example of praise and worship of God.
But we ought to do so more.  We have been redeemed!
cf. Rev 14:1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they *sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.
C.  It ought to sober us because some of them fell and we ought to “take heed lest (we) fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
We ought to thank God for the privilege no angel has:  sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!
IV.  What do angels do?
There are various groupings of their duties and activities.
A.  Angels continually praise and glorify God.
(Erickson)
Psa 103:20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!
Rev 5:11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."

(rest of list from ZPEB)
B.  Angels announce and forewarn.
1.  Announcements
a. Conception and birth of Isaac (Gen. 18:9)
b. Birth of Samson (Jud. 13:2-24)
c. Birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:13)
d. Birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:30)
2.  Forewarnings
a. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18-19)
b. Threat of Herod to the infant Messiah (Matt. 2:13)
C.  Angels guide and instruct.
1.  Abraham’s servant Eliezer when finding a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24:7)
2.  Cornelius was told by an angel to send for Peter (Acts 10:3-5)
Now that we have the completed Scriptures there is no need for this.
D.  Angels minister to believers.
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
How do they minister to us?
1.  Protect believers from harm.
Act 5:18 and they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in a public jail. 19 But an angel of the Lord during the night opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20 "Go your way, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life."
Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
This is a good time to raise a common question:  “Do believers have guardian angels?”
Has God assigned a particular angel to watch over each individual believer or over each child?
One verse is commonly given for belief in guardian angels.
Matt. 18:10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven.
John Broadus commenting on this verse believes (as does John MacArthur and other commentators) that Jesus is referring to child-like believers or those young in the faith and is using actual children as His object lesson.
Broadus says this, “There is in this no sufficient warrant for the popular notion of “guardian angels,” one angel especially assigned to each individual; it is simply said of believers as a class that there are angels which are their angels; but there is nothing here or elsewhere to show that one angel has special charge of one believer.”
“It cannot be positively asserted that the idea of guardian angels is an error, but there is no Scripture which proves it true, and passages which merely might be understood that way do not suffice for the basis of a doctrine” (Broadus, Matthew, p. 385)
BUT, SCRIPTURE TEACHES THAT ANGELS MINISTER TO BELIEVERS AND THAT THEY DEFEND BELIEVERS.  WE’RE NEVER TOLD HOW TO DISCERN THIS.  THEY DO MINISTER TO US.  HOW SPECIFICALLY THEY DO, WE DO NOT KNOW.
John MacArthur in The Glory of Heaven writes, “That doesn’t mean it wasn’t an angel whose invisible hand mysteriously steadied you when you were about to take a tumble down the stairs.  But it means you cannot possibly know for sure whether it was an angel or not.  We do know for sure that it is God whose providence preserves us from various disasters.  Whether in a given instance He employs angels as His instruments or not, it is God who should be the focus of our praise and gratitude, no the angelic beings” (p. 150).
Angels not only minister to believers by protecting them from harm, but also
2.  Carry the souls of believers to heaven
Luk 16:22 "Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
3.  Wage war in a different dimension for the same side
Dan 10:13 "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.
Dan 10:20 Then he said, "Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.

E.  Angels assist in judgment
2Ki 19:35 Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out, and struck 185000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.
Act 12:23 And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
Mat 13:39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 "Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(use with III.  Angel of the Lord)
D.  Most angels are unnamed.
There are a few notable exceptions:
1.  Michael — The archangel, commander of the angelic army.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
2.  Gabriel — the chief messenger angel
Dan 8:15-17 And it came about when I, Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, "Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision." 17 So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end."
Gabriel also appeared to Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Mary
3.  Satan
We studied the origin and fall of Satan a few weeks ago as part of our Wednesday series through our Confession of Faith.
cf. Isa. 14; Eze. 28

B.  Angels have various names.
1.  Sons of God (Elohim)
Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among “them.
2.  Holy ones
Psa. 89:5 And the heavens will praise Thy wonders, O LORD; Thy faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
3.  Watchers
Dan. 4:13 'I was looking in the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven.
4.  Council
Psa 89:7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?
5.  The assembly
Psa 89:5 And the heavens will praise Thy wonders, O LORD; Thy faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
6.  Host or hosts
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
“Lord of hosts” which means simply Lord of armies
7.  Spirits
Heb. 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
8.  Principalities, powers, thrones, dominions, and authorities
Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him.


III.  Who Was the Angel of the Lord?


69 times the Scripture refers to this angel, also called the angel of God.
At times the Scripture seems to indicate this angel is the Lord Himself, at other times one of His messengers.  Which is it?
Three main views exist about this angel (Erickson):
A.  An angel with a special commission
Those who hold to this position point to the passages where the Lord and the angel of the Lord are distinguished.
For ex., Gen 16:11: “The angel of the LORD said to her further, "Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.”
B.  A theophany (appearance of God in human form)
Far more biblical scholars hold to this view than to the view that this is merely an angel with a special commission.
Several Scriptures indicate this angel was much more than a mere angel:
Gen 31:11 "Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am.' 12 "And he said, 'Lift up, now, your eyes and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 'I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.' "
Exo 3:2-6 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.  3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up." 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." 5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." 6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
cf. The three men coming to see Abraham in Gen. 18.  One of them was the LORD.
 Some scholars have reconciled the distinction from the Lord and the identification as the Lord in this way.  They believe that the angel of the Lord was really...
C.  A Christophany (a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ)
The rationale for this view is as follows:  the angel of the Lord is distinct from the Lord Himself as seen in Gen. 16:11 (Hagar).  Yet the angel of the Lord elsewhere is clearly God Himself.  Therefore, what you have is Person Who is God Who is distinct from God.  This can only be explained, so the view goes, by equating the angel of the Lord with the Logos, the preincarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
“He [the angel of the Lord] introduced Himself as the Deity, and yet as distinct from God” (G.B. Funderburk, “Angel”, in ZPEB, vol. 1, p. 162).
Others explain the apparent problem this way:  “Where there are apparent distinctions between God and the angel of the Lord, God is referring to himself in third-person fashion” (Erickson, p. 443).
Whichever it is (and I’m not sure, though I lean toward the Christophany), isn’t it wonderful that we have a God who was interested enough in His creation to appear as a man and communicate His will in a way that man could understand.
God didn’t have to appear to Hagar or Jacob or Moses, BUT HE DID because He is intimately involved in the affairs of men and HE CARES.  He cared about poor Hagar and Ishmael who were thrown into the wilderness by an irate Sarah.  He cared enough to communicate and He’s still the same God.  He still cares.  He cared enough to send His Son to die for us on the cross to redeem us and give us life.



IV.  What do angels do?


A.  Angels continually praise and glorify God.
Psa 103:20
Rev 5:11-12
B.  Angels announce and forewarn.
1.  Announcements
a. Conception and birth of Isaac (Gen. 18:9)
b. Birth of Samson (Jud. 13:2-24)
c. Birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:13)
d. Birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:30)
2.  Forewarnings
a. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18-19)
b. Threat of Herod to the infant Messiah (Matt. 2:13)
C.  Angels guide and instruct.
1.  Abraham’s servant Eliezer when finding a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24:7)
2.  Cornelius was told by an angel to send for Peter (Acts 10:3-5)
D.  Angels minister to believers.
Heb 1:14
1.  Protect believers from harm.
Act 5:18-20; Psa 34:7
“Do believers have guardian angels?”
Matt. 18:10
“It cannot be positively asserted that the idea of guardian angels is an error, but there is no Scripture which proves it true, and passages which merely might be understood that way do not suffice for the basis of a doctrine” (Broadus, Matthew, p. 385)

John MacArthur in The Glory of Heaven writes, “That doesn’t mean it wasn’t an angel whose invisible hand mysteriously steadied you when you were about to take a tumble down the stairs.  But it means you cannot possibly know for sure whether it was an angel or not.  We do know for sure that it is God whose providence preserves us from various disasters.  Whether in a given instance He employs angels as His instruments or not, it is God who should be the focus of our praise and gratitude, no the angelic beings” (p. 150).
2.  Carry the souls of believers to heaven 
Luke 16:22
3.  Wage war in a different dimension for the same side
Dan 10:13, 20
E.  Angels assist in judgment.
2 Kings 19:35; Act 12:23; Rev 20:1-3; Mat 13:39-42
V.  How the Doctrine of Angels Should Help and Encourage Us
(Erickson)
A.  It’s a comfort to know we have powerful, unseen helpers.
cf. 2 Kings 6:17
B.  We ought to follow their example of praise and worship of God.
cf. Rev 14:1-3
C.  It ought to sober us because some of them fell and we ought to “take heed lest (we) fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
D.  We ought to thank God for the privilege no angel has:  sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!