[Course 47 Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Prayer Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]
(Lessons 3 and 4 are developed from a teaching Randy Clark did in Beleem Brazil on angels in September of 2002. Lesson 3 explored the tie between Jacob's vision of the ladder to Heaven with angelic activity and the first coming of Christ. We saw that angels ministered to and with Jesus multiple times as He walked on the earth.)
Jesus said in John 14:12 that we, as His believers, would do the same things He had done. So if Jesus worked with the angels, it stands to reason that His disciples would also work with angels. And Scripture bares this out. Let me share a few examples really quickly. The apostles were arrested in Acts 5:17-20, and an angel was sent to open the doors to jail and bring them out--e.g., to rescue them. Then in Acts 12:5-11 Peter is arrested and sentenced to be executed. The church prayed for him and God sent an angel to rescue him from prison. In Acts 27:23-27, Paul talked to an angel just before he was shipwrecked and received a promise from God that no one would drown in the shipwreck.
What about today? Those of us who believe in Jesus today are also covered by John 14:12--we are promised that if we believe in Jesus, we will do the same works Jesus did. So if Jesus worked with angels when He was on the earth, it follows that we will also work with angels. Heb 1:14 bears that out, indicating that angels serve with members of the church. The apostle Paul was talking about angels and he said, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" (NKJV).
Back to Jacob's vision of the ladder in Genesis 28:12. In that vision, Jesus is the ladder, the one who creates the open Heaven. It is through what Jesus did on the cross that God can send angels to work with the church to advance God's kingdom and to do His will.
Jesus accomplished a lot for us in His death and resurrection:
But that is not all that He accomplished on the cross. To get all of the benefits of the cross, we also get the benefit of angels working with us.
Let's develop that a little. Because God is God, He can do anything He wants any way He wants. Wouldn't you agree? And the message of salvation is very important to God, it is the whole reason Jesus came to earth, walked among men, suffered and died and then rose from the dead. Jesus paid a very high price for our salvation. He could have used any means He wanted to get the message out. He could have appeared divinely to men from Heaven and told them of the good news. He could have spoken to all unsaved people in dreams. But instead He choose to entrust the message of salvation to the Church. It is our job to share the good news of what Jesus did with other people. If we don't tell them, no one will. God has shown a willingness to take important kingdom business and trust the execution of it to His creation. He doesn't do everything Himself, He chooses to work through His creation.
In a similar manner, angels are also God's creation and He also chooses to work through them. One of the ways God choose to use angels is in physical healing. We find an example of this in John 5:4, which says, "For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."
Isn't that interesting? God uses angels in healing the sick. Now, healing is an important part of the gospel. It is one of the elements in the gospel message of Matthew 10:8 and of the Great Commission of Mark 16:15-18. The gospel has two parts to it: we share the good news of what Jesus did to restore man to God and we demonstrate God's power to back up the message we share, and physical healing is one of the primary ways that we demonstrate the reality of God's power.
Rev 14:6 says something that is almost alarming on first glance. It says, "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of Heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people."
Rev 14:6 says that some angels have been given the gospel to share. But we know that the great commission of sharing the good news fell to man, not to angels. We see the angel appear to Cornelius in Acts 10. The angel does not share the gospel but rather instructs Cornelius to send for Peter so he can hear the gospel. So we see the angels are careful not to speak the message of salvation, that task falls to men. Yet, Rev 14:6 says that the angels have been given the gospel. That almost sounds like a contradiction at first, but it is not, because healing is a part of the gospel. It is not the speaking of the message of the gospel, but it is the demonstration of God's power to back up the message of salvation. And we see in John 5:4 that angels are used in physical healing. The way that angels are involved in spreading the gospel is that they work together with man to spread the gospel by providing supernatural healings.
Think of it this way: we know that the church is the army of God because the Bible tells us that. The angels are the air force. The army is the one that goes out on the offensive and takes the territory. But it is much easier for the army to win the battle when they have air support from the air force. Likewise, it is much easier for us to be effective in spreading the gospel when angels show up and help with the physical healings.
Angels and Fire
The Bible associates angels with fire in many places. One of them is Heb 1:7, which says, "In speaking of the angels He says, 'He makes His angels winds, His servants flames of fire'" (NIV). This is quoting Ps 104:4.
Now look at Acts 2:1-4:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
We know the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, because Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit and power from on high before going out to spread the gospel (Acts 1:4-5). But what are the mighty wind and the tongues of fire? Heb 1:7 and Ps 104:4 say that angels are "winds" and "flames of fire." Could the mighty rushing wind and the tongues of fire in Acts 2 be the presence of angels released to co-labor with the church? Might it be that we not only got the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we also got a release of angelic on the church?
Healing evangelists like Randy Clark and Benny Hinn tell us that when angels show up at a meeting, the anointing on that meeting increases. The more angels that come to a meeting, the more power there is in that meeting. We know that worship of God is what attracts angels to a meeting, the angels are around God's throne worshipping Him. Worship ushers in God's presence because God dwells in the worship of His people (Ps 22:3). We know that angels carry and accompany the presence of God. That is why powerful worship is such an important part of the service for healing evangelists. They want to usher in God's presence and they want to usher in the presence of angels to co-labor with us in the area of physical healings.
John The Baptist talked a lot about Jesus before Jesus started His public ministry. He said something very interesting about Him in Luke 3:16, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Could the "and fire" be the presence of angels? In other words, does Jesus give us the Holy Spirit and also command His angels to come minister with us like fire? We know that God does a lot of important things through angels, and that angels sometimes appear in the form of fire. For instance, Exodus 3:3 tells us that it was an angel who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, not God. The angel spoke for God and Moses reacted as if he was speaking directly to God, but God was actually speaking to Moses through an angel, and the form the angel took was indeed fire.. a bush that burned and was never consumed.
It seems to be a reasonable conclusion that God expects His Church to work with angels to be effective. If that is the case, then we need to learn how to work with them. Obviously we must make a place for them to co-labor with us. At the same time, we must not get wrapped up in angels and put our focus and our attention on them.
Rev 19:10 makes it very clear that we are not to worship angels or to overly elevate them. John writes, "And I fell at his feet to worship him (the angel who had been speaking to John). But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!'"
We should respect angels and cooperate with them. But we should not give an angel more honor than or respect than we would give another anointed human minister.