Appearances By Angels In Scripture
There is no way to fathom how often angels have been involved in our lives. We can’t know for sure because angels are mostly invisible. While angels may become visible, our eyes are not constructed to see them, ordinarily, any more than we can see through the copper wiring that flows through this building. Our ability to sense reality is limited.
The New Testament implies that it is still possible to receive angelic visitors who appear to be only human. We’re told:
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
So maybe we need to improve our hospitality ability to strangers. Not until eternity will we know if any of them were angels. Before moving on from angels’ visibility, remember, too, that angels can show themselves in our dreams. The New Testament of Joseph, the husband of Mary, contains the most dream appearances by angels in the Scripture.
It also contains some of the strongest examples of obedience. Joseph didn’t seem to doubt any of his supernatural experiences. He just did what God’s angel told him to do.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him his wife: 25and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
And the Scripture tells us about the angel appearing to Joseph in another dream:
Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt. 15And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Again, Joseph obeyed and so it was fulfilled: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. After Herod’s death…
22Being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23and He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
Learning about angels and dreams helps us to see that these heavenly beings can access us through senses other than sight.
In Psalm 46:10, the LORD says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
God’s good angels are still what they were created to be. You and I are not. We have been redeemed and forgiven; God is still working on us. He isn’t through with us yet.
The Bible says that throughout history angels have worked to carry out God’s judgments. God used angels in bringing judgment to Sodom and Gomorrah. And at the end of the age, angels will execute judgment on those who have rejected God’s love.
God sent His Son to be born into human flesh, and to take upon Himself all the curse and the death and doom that was ours.
Then with power, He proved His total victory over all of it by rising from the dead. When by faith, you and I think of what really happened here, we stand amazed and we’re forever grateful and filled with unspeakable joy.
And what do the angels think about all this?
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1 Peter 1:12
I’ve heard all my life that each of us has a special guardian angel. I’ve searched my Bible, and talked with Bible students, and they also say that it is not in the Scriptures stated just like that even though there are over three hundred Scriptures given directly or indirectly about angels. But I am going to give you some Scriptures to let you know that God is watching over His redeemed saints, and if He sends one angel or many angels to do His bidding, it will be just right.
May we become better prepared to worship the LORD of Host, who created us, and an innumerable army of angels. Angels are among us, as we will see. They are created beings with intellect, emotions and will and have a distinct nature. God is real; angels are real and demons are also real!
The word angel occurs many times in the New and Old Testament.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.
Angels apparently have their own spiritual language, but I think 1 Corinthians 13:1 makes it clear that these tongues of angels are no more important or any more beautiful in God’s eyes as the simple, human language of our love in action. Because the angels know nothing of wretchedness and despair, nothing of the fall of our race, our sweetest songs with deepest sorrow, and the disappointments and the despair of life make the redeemed sing, and the angels listen.
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
It takes a lost and a fallen man to experience redemption, one who has been brought back to God.
Angels are unseen, but they are involved in our personal lives. The Bible, the revealed Word of God, speaks of angels, but only three angels are specifically named, though there are thousands of them. Their names are Michael (the archangel), Gabriel and Lucifer (Satan).
If there was ever a time when people need the special power and blessings of heaven in their lives, that time is now. We live in troubled times and some don’t pause long enough to discover the inner strength that comes through the supernatural.
For he shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
A Philadelphia neurologist had gone to bed after an exceptionally tiring day. Suddenly, he was awakened by someone knocking on his door. Opening it, he found a little girl, poorly dressed and deeply upset. She told him her mother was very sick and asked him if would please come with her.
It was bitterly cold and snowing. Even though the doctor was tired he dressed and followed the little girl. When he arrived, he found the mother desperately ill with pneumonia. After doing for the sick woman what he could, he then arranged for more medical care. He turned to the mother again and complimented the sick woman on the intelligence and persistence of her little daughter. The woman looked at him strangely, and said, “My daughter died a month ago” and she added, “her shoes and coat are in the closet there.”
Amazed and perplexed the doctor went to the closet, close by, and opened the door. There hung the very coat worn by the little girl who had come for help. It was warm and dry and could not have possibly been out in the snowy, cold night. Could the doctor have been called in the hour of desperate need by an angel who appeared as this woman’s young daughter? God works in mysterious ways.
Speculation about the nature of angels has been around for thousands of years and continues down to the present time. Angels belong to a uniquely different dimension of creation, that we, limited to the natural order, can scarcely comprehend.
The Bible states that angels and humans like you and me were created by God.
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
Angels indeed are among the invisible things made by God.
It seems that angels have the ability to change their appearance and shuttle in a flash from the glory of heaven to earth and back again.
Hebrews 1:14 calls them ministering spirits. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
They do not possess physical bodies, although they may take on physical bodies when God appoints them a special task. God has given them no ability to reproduce.
Angels crisscross the Old and New Testaments, being mentioned many times.
Hebrews 12:22 speaks of an innumerable company of angels: But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the LORD is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
In the New Testament, Revelation 5:11 John tells us:
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Angels are not to be worshiped:
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
In Romans we are warned against worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.
While angels remain messengers of God, who serve men as ministering spirits, at the same time both angels and the Holy Spirit are at work in the world to accomplish God’s perfect will.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
We know the Holy Spirit is spirit not flesh, but we can know angels not as spirit alone, but sometimes in visible form. Angels minister to us personally. Many accounts in Scripture confirm that we are the subjects of their individual concern. We may not always be aware of the presence of angels. We can’t always predict how they will appear. We know little of their constant ministry. The Bible assures us, however, that one day our eyes will be unsealed to see and know the full extent of the attention angels have given us.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
Many experiences of God’s people suggest that angels have been ministering to them while others may not have known they were helped, yet the visitation was real. Angels minister to God’s people, those that have been redeemed by the power of Christ’s blood.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
The great majority of Christians can recall some incident in their lives, in times of critical danger, when they have been miraculously preserved: an almost plane crash, a near car wreck, a fierce temptation. Though we might not have seen an angel, the presence of the angel could explain why tragedy was averted.
We should always be grateful for the goodness of God, who uses these wonderful friends, called angels, to help and protect us.
The Reverend John Paton, pioneer missionary to the Islands, told a thrilling story involving the protective care of angels. Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out, and then killing them. John Paton and his wife prayed all during the terror filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came, they were amazed that the attackers had left. They thanked God for delivering them.
A year later, the Chief of the Tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them.
The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men you had there with you?” “There were no men here, just my wife and me.” The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard, hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. Only then did Mr. Paton realize that God had sent His angels to protect them. The Chief agreed too, that there was no other explanation.
I believe God sends one or many, however many are needed, to accomplish His divine will for His children, depending on the circumstances. God knows our need before we call. He knows our need better than we do.
Once my daughter and I decided to tour New York. We took the subway, which we had never ridden before. Following instructions given, we headed in the wrong direction, unknown to us. When we started to get off, there was a woman standing there at the door as we exited. Two men were racing from a large building down the underground stairwell toward the two of us as the building very quickly emptied. When the two men saw that woman, their footsteps froze on the stairwell, one story above, positioned as if in motion. That woman said to my daughter and me, “Get back on the subway as quick as you can.” We did! We were aware of the danger. The area had quickly emptied of all the many, many people. We looked back immediately from inside the subway and the woman had disappeared. I believe God sent an angel to protect us and I will forever be grateful.
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the LORD is among them as in Sinai, in the holy place.
3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4what is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Study the temptations of Jesus when the devil was trying to divert His love, dedication and worship.
1Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God. 8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
10Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 11For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
In Luke 16:22 Jesus is speaking about the beggar, Lazarus, and the rich man; both died but Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.
22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels unto Abraham’s bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; 23and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luke 16: 22-23
Notice contrast at death in Luke 16:24-31 as spoken by Jesus.
24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25And Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Luke 16: 24-31
At the time of His arrest, Jesus says:
53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Are ye come out against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.
Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.
Christ’s resurrection is declared by an angel:
1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9And as they went to tell his disciples, behold Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: 20teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
In John 1:51 Jesus is speaking to Nathanael:
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.”
In Matthew 24:31, Jesus speaking:
“And He shall send his angels with the great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The redeemed (His elect) will be with Jesus forever.
To be redeemed means to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins…and He will. Scripture states: Whosoever will may come. That means you can come to Him in prayer…right now, right where you are. You can ask Him . . . right now. He will hear you. Did you ask Him in prayer to forgive you of your sins? If your answer is yes, you are redeemed, forgiven, a child of God. Matthew 24:31 (above), therefore, now includes YOU, to be gathered together to spend eternity with Jesus!
Read the story of Philip:
26And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying Arise and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27He arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Esaias the prophet. 29Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30And Philip ran thither to him and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, 31How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33in his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth. 34And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: 40and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
20Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. 21Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
Who (Jesus) is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers, being made subject unto him.
1 Peter 3:22
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Then Nebuchadnezzar spake and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
3GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the septre of thy kingdom. 9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2For if the word, spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? 5For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7Thou madest him a little lower then the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, 8and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. 9But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings, 11for both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. 13And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
Hebrews, Chapter 2
22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29for our God is a consuming fire.
9bThou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: 12and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.