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Things into which angels long to see

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·         Some would say that the statement that I’m about to make belong in some science fiction novel, movie or television program but I make this statement here before you my Father’s children.  I make it here in the sanctuary on this the Lord’s day!

·         We are not the only beings, creations, or entities outside of the Holy Trinity with high intelligence and the ability to exercise moral judgment.

·         In other words, we are not alone!

·         1 Peter 1:12 ends with this statement


1 Peter 1:12b (ESV)
things into which angels long to look.

·         In my study this week, I was moved by the statements of two sources; Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology, an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine” and Martin Lloyd-Jones’ “Great Doctrines of the Bible” volume one of the three volume set

·         Listen to this quote from Martin Lloyd-Jones’ work; And I quote

“Let me ask a question at this point: How often have you heard either a sermon or an address on the biblical doctrine of the angels? How often have you considered this doctrine or meditated upon it? I ask those questions in order that I may ask another: Why is it that we tend to neglect certain parts of the biblical revelation? Why is it that even as evangelical people we seem to be content with the minimum of doctrine? Why are we only interested in the doctrine of salvation? It more and more seems to me that we rob ourselves of a wealth of truth because we do not isolate these doctrines and hold them up for our study and contemplation.”[1]  Unquote.

·         I agree with Dr. Lloyd-Jones. 

·         And I must also admit, that up to this time, I have spent very little time studying this subject, and this doctrine.

·         It would have also been easy, real easy, to move on to the next portion of Scripture starting with verse 13 and avoided this topic, this subject, this doctrine all together.

·         I think God that Jesus is the captain of this ship and His Holy Spirit controls the membership, the fellowship, and the worship

·         Seven words at the end of verse 12 of a letter from Peter to elected exiles of the dispersion has opened up a room containing biblical doctrine that we have failed to even notice the room or if we notice the room, we take the room for granted

·         Peter says; “It was revealed to them

o   (the Old Testament prophets that is)

·         that they were serving not themselves but you

o   (speaking to the elect, the saints, the church of the New Testament),

·         in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you

o   (what good news?

o   We are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

o   To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled , and un fading

o   The outcome of your faith is the salvation of your souls

o   It is concerning this salvation verse 10)

o   This is the good news, the shout about it, praise God about it, be glad about it, good news!

·         preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

·         Listen to it seven words; “Things into which Angels long to look,” Angels!

·         Who are they?

·         What do they do?

·         Why are they mentioned here?

·         I am sure that there were readers of this letter or listeners to this letter, who would have asked these three questions

·         At most two or three of you asked me about angels

·         A question of application at this point is why?

·         Why is it that the quote I made from Martin Lloyd-Jones can be applied to you here at New Hope?

·         We have ask for your questions to be given to us so that we can incorporate them into lessons, topics of discussion, and to match them up with the appropriate teacher and/or speaker

·         Have you submitted yours?

·         Amen!,  Well;

·         Amazingly in our Bible from Genesis to Revelation we read about angels and their interactions with human kind

·         Angels are heaven intelligent beings.

·         Wayne Grudem gives the following definition for angels

o   Angels are created, spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies.

·         I would add to this that angels don’t have bodies but they can appear in the form of human beings and they posses very great power.

·         This definition helps us in our answer to the question of who are they?

·         They are created beings, that is they have a beginning just like we have a beginning

 Ezra says in Nehemiah 9:6 (ESV)
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

Psalm 148:2, 5(ESV)
2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!  5 Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created.

Colossians 1:16 (ESV)
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

·         Thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities are names given to the angelic host

·         They are able to exercise moral judgment this is seen in the fact that some of them, these spiritual beings sinned and fell from their positions

2 Peter 2:4 (ESV)
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

Jude 6 (ESV)
6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—

·         I am applying these three questions today to the good angels, Jesus refers to them as holy angels and Paul calls them the elect angels

·         Lord willing, we will preach on the other side of the coin, preaching on the fallen angels, at a later time

·         Who are they?  They are spiritual beings with high intelligence as they speak to humans and praise God.  Here is just a few examples from Scripture;

Matthew 28:5-7 (ESV)
5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”

Acts 12:6-11 (ESV)
6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

Revelation 4:11 (ESV)
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 5:11 (ESV)
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,

·         Who are they?  If we based our belief on the pictures of angels that we see, most would say they are androgynous beings looking masculine and feminine at the same time, long flowing hair with wings or around Christmas time we see pictures of them as babies with wings

·         But listen to what Jesus said in Matthew and then in Luke

Matthew 22:29-30 (ESV)
29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

  Luke 20:34-36 (ESV)
And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

·         Angels never die

·         But allow me to make an additional point in reference to these two Scriptures;

·         Jesus is given an answer to the Sadducces’ question about a woman who had been married seven times, and that Jesus said that their question showed lack of knowledge both of scripture and of the power of God.  Jesus answer, therefore, should comfort us and not trouble us: we should contemplate heaven not with sorrow at the anticipation of diminished interpersonal relationships, but with joy at the prospect of enriched relationships

·         Angels are mentioned in the Bible from Genesis to Revelations and there are other names for angels

·         They are called ‘sons of God’

Job 1:6 (ESV)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
Job 2:1 (ESV)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.

·         Holy ones

Psalm 89:5 (ESV)
Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!

Psalm 89:7 (ESV)
a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?

·         Watchers

Daniel 4:13 (ESV)
“I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven.

Daniel 4:17 (ESV)
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’

Daniel 4:23 (ESV)
And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’

·         Only two angels are specifically named in Scripture

·         Michael, an archangel and called a prince.  This implies that there is rank and order among the Angels

Jude 9 (ESV)
But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

Revelation 12:7-8 (ESV)
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

Daniel 10:13 (ESV)
The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia,

Daniel 10:21 (ESV)
But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.

·         The other is Gabriel

Daniel 8:16 (ESV)
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

Daniel 9:21 (ESV)
while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.

Luke 1:19 (ESV)
And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Luke 1:26-27 (ESV)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.

·         Even with this we don’t know all of them because Scripture does not tell us how many angels there are.  We know that it is a very great number

Deuteronomy 33:2 (ESV)
He said, “The Lord came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran; he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fire at his right hand.

Psalm 68:17 (ESV)
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.

Hebrews 12:22 (ESV)
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

Revelation 5:11 (ESV)
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,

·         You have a right and you should ask New Hope, why all of this?

·         Or to put it bluntly ‘so what’

·         Allow me to close with the reasons

·         First we are not alone, human beings and angels are the only moral, highly intelligent creatures that God made.

·         Second Angels are never made in the image of God but man is and we are being made into the image of Jesus Christ daily.  Listen

Hebrews 2:9 (ESV)
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Compare to

Psalm 8:4-6 (ESV)
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,

·         Many angels sinned but God decided to redeem none of them and this was perfectly just for God to do.

·         In the Human race, all sin and fall short of the glory of God,

·         God could have let all of us go on our self-chosen path toward eternal condemnation

·         Had God decided to save no one out of the entire sinful human race, He would be perfectly just to do so, and no one could complain about unfairness

·         But look at what the angels are looking at they are looking at what God is doing with love, grace and mercy

·         Here is the point, even though angels are in the presence of All Mighty God, these very angels must look to mankind to learn about the grace and mercy of their God, our God.


Ephesians 3:10 (ESV)
so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

·         The angels are watching how God is working this grace and mercy thing out and thus they rejoice even when one sinner man, woman, boy or girl repents

Luke 15:10 (ESV)
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

·         It is amazing that even when we look at just one of the three questions about angels, who they are, we end up back where we started.

·         There are so many reasons to raise God from whom all blessings flow

·         To you His elect down here on earth, He saves, He keeps, He demonstrates His grace so that the angels in heaven must long to look at

·         Next Sunday I would like to look at Angels, what do they do, what is their job and duty

·         As you leave here today and start a new week, know that there are angels, many angels who are watching you.

·         Watching how you pray, how you worship, how you give thanks, how you live and let your light shine,

·         Watching your good days and watching your bad days

·         Watching your public moments as well as watching your private moments

·         And they long to look at what you do

·         Let us pray



Hebrews 1:13-14 (ESV)
13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Grudem gives the following definition for angels

·         We may define angels as follows: Angels are created, spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies.[2]

Then there is something else that the angels are very busy about. I never read this next point without having a still more glorious understanding of my salvation. We are told that they spend a good deal of their time in looking into this question of our salvation. Let me give you my authority. Peter, in talking about our salvation says, ‘which things the angels desire to look into’ (1 Pet. 1:12). It is something so marvelous, and so wonderful, that these created angelic spirits, who have always spent their eternity in the presence of God, are, as it were, looking on at this thing which is most astonishing to them, and which surpasses everything else.

Couple with that statement the one in Ephesians 3:10 where Paul actually tells us that it is through the Church that God is going to show to these angelic beings, these principalities and powers, the wonders of His Christ. I have said that the angels are superior to man—yes; but did you know that were it not for you and me, for those who are redeemed, they would know nothing about the grace of God? It is only where the grace of God is concerned that the angels are looking into it. They are astonished at it. ‘What is this?’ they ask. ‘This is the most wonderful thing of all!’ They spend their time in looking into it, studying and inquiring into this marvelous salvation.[3]

Even Jesus said this statement:  Luke 15:10 (ESV)
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Angels are outside the work of redemption, this is adding more to the statement above: Hebrews 2:16 (ESV)
For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.



[1]Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1996). God the Father, God the Son (103). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

[2]Grudem, W. A. (1994). Systematic theology : An introduction to biblical doctrine (397). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.

[3]Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1996). God the Father, God the Son (109). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

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