Bible Questions and Answers

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Because angels work on behalf of those who seek to be God's children - His sons and daughters - many people ask if there are personal "guardian" angels. When Peter was released from prison by an angel (Acts 12:7-15) and arrived at the door of the house where the brethren were staying, they could not believe it was Peter in person but said, "It is his angel". Before that, Jesus had told his own followers that those who in simple, child-like faith obey and reverence God would have the services of His messengers: "Their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10). These are powerful indications of how much personal care and comfort God is prepared to provide for those who truly fear Him.

Followers of Jesus are left in no doubt when they read the Letter to the Hebrews. The early chapters demonstrate how God has communicated with man, how the angels are His servants and how Jesus, the Son of God, is now superior to the angels and commands their obedience. Likewise, those who become the "sons of God" and are destined to be the rulers in the coming kingdom of God will be above the angels. In chapter 1, the writer says that God spoke in the past in many different ways (for example, by angels conveying God's word to patriarchs and prophets) but He now speaks directly through His Son, who is "the express image of his person ... being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they". The Son is greater than the servants. Yet, he says, the angels still have their work to do:

"Of the angels he says, 'Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.' ... Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?" (Hebrews 1:7,14, RSV)

The angels are presently part of what the Apostle Paul called "the family in heaven" - God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the angels. Soon that family will be completed by the return of the Son of God to earth and the addition of the "sons of God" - Christ's faithful disciples - who will rule the earth with him: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14,15). The Creator lives in unapproachable light, and may seem very remote from us at times. But the family of God has breached the gulf, and the day will come when, by the end of the Millennium, all sin is removed, death is conquered and "God will be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28).

For the believer, knowing that the angels are there for his or her benefit is itself a great help. Just as we can have complete confidence in a skilled surgeon when undergoing a major operation (although we may never see him while our "eyes are closed" under the anaesthetic). So, to understand the work of the angels is to be confident in God's care for us and in the ways of providence that surround our lives. Indeed, in practice it is something more than that. If we are sincere, we pray to God and God answers our prayers in harmony with His will. He sends His angel who, unseen, orders the circumstances and situations around us, so changing our lives: "The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way" (Psalm 37:23). (from "Angels God's Messengers" by Stanley owen.)

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless,