LandMarks Magazine      
   

September 2003 Table of Contents

 
    October 25, 2003 - October 31, 2003
 
 

The Nature of Man

The Ministry of Angels

 

Memory Verse

     “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”  Psalm 34:7.

 

Suggested Reading Early Writings, 39, 40, 149–153.

 

Introduction

     “Heaven is brought near to earth by that mystic ladder, the base of which is firmly planted on the earth, while the topmost round reaches the throne of the Infinite.  Angels are constantly ascending and descending this ladder of shining brightness, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and bringing blessing and hope, courage and help, to the children of men.  These angels of light create a heavenly atmosphere about the soul, lifting us toward the unseen and the eternal.  We cannot behold their forms with our natural sight; only by spiritual vision can we discern heavenly things.  The spiritual ear alone can hear the harmony of heavenly voices.”  The Acts of the Apostles, 153.

 

1      Whom did John see surrounding God’s throne in heaven?  What is said of the number of the angels?  Revelation 5:11, 12.  Compare Hebrews 12:22.

 

note:  “The angels of God, thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, are commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.  They guard us against evil and press back the powers of darkness that are seeking our destruction.  Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway?”  Testimonies, vol. 6, 63.

 

2      By whom were the angels brought into existence?  Colossians 1:16.

 

note:  “Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.”  Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

     “The angels had been created full of goodness and love.  They loved one another impartially and their God supremely, and they were prompted by this love to do His pleasure.  The law of God was not a grievous yoke to them, but it was their delight to do His commandments, to hearken unto the voice of His Word.”  The Signs of the Times, April 28, 1890.

     “The divine Son of God was the only sacrifice of sufficient value to fully satisfy the claims of God’s perfect law.  The angels were sinless, but of less value than the law of God.  They were amenable to law.  They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before him to bow.  They were created beings, and probationers.”  Review and Herald, December 17, 1872.

 

3      What ministry has been appointed to the angels?  Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:20, 21.

 

note:  “We need to understand better than we do the mission of the angels.  It would be well to remember that every true child of God has the co-operation of heavenly beings.  Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God.  Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength, stand at God’s right hand, ‘all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.’ Hebrews 1:14.”  The Acts of the Apostles, 154.

     “Angels are watching over and guarding us; we often grieve these angels by indulging in trifling conversation, jesting, and joking, and also by sinking down into a careless, stupid state.  Although we may now and then make an effort for the victory and obtain it, yet if we do not keep it, but sink down into the same careless, indifferent state, unable to endure temptations and resist the enemy, we do not endure the trial of our faith that is more precious than gold.  We are not suffering for Christ’s sake, and glorying in tribulation.”  Early Writings, 111.

 

4      In what form have angels appeared to men?  Genesis 18:2; 19:1–3, 16; Acts 1:10.

 

note:  “Not until the providences of God are seen in the light of eternity shall we understand what we owe to the care and interposition of His angels.  Celestial beings have taken an active part in the affairs of men.  They have appeared in garments that shone as the lightning; they have come as men, in the garb of wayfarers.  They have accepted the hospitalities of human homes; they have acted as guides to benighted travelers. . . .”  God’s Amazing Grace, 364.

 

5      Describe some evidences of the power of angels given to us in the Bible.  11 Kings 19:35; Luke 1:18–20; Matthew 28:2.

 

note:  “The power and malice of Satan and his host might justly alarm us, were it not that we may find shelter and deliverance in the superior power of our Redeemer. . . .  Those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare.  Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them.  The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people.”  The Faith I Live By, 328.

 

6      How have angels helped the people of God in times of distress?  Daniel 6:22; 3:28.

 

note:  “Angels are sent on missions of mercy to the children of God.  To Abraham, with promises of blessing; to the gates of Sodom, to rescue righteous Lot from its fiery doom; to Elijah, as he was about to perish from weariness and hunger in the desert; to Elisha, with chariots and horses of fire surrounding the little town where he was shut in by his foes; to Daniel, while seeking divine wisdom in the court of a heathen king, or abandoned to become the lions’ prey; to Peter, doomed to death in Herod’s dungeon; to the prisoners at Philippi; to Paul and his companions in the night of tempest on the sea; to open the mind of Cornelius to receive the gospel; to dispatch Peter with the message of salvation to the Gentile stranger—thus holy angels have, in all ages, ministered to God’s people.”  The Great Controversy, 512.

 

7      How have angels delivered God’s servants in trouble?  Acts 5:17–20; 12:5–10.

 

note:  [Speaking of Acts 5:17–20] “The God of heaven the mighty Ruler of the universe, took this matter into his own hands; for men were warring against his work.  He showed them plainly that there is a ruler above man, whose authority must be respected.  The Lord sent his angel by night to open the prison doors; and he brought forth these men whom God had commissioned to do his work.”  Review and Herald, January 1, 1889.

 

8      What interest is shown by the angels when sinners turn to the Lord?  Luke 15:10.

 

note:  “If the angels of God rejoice over the erring who see and confess their wrongs and return to the fellowship of their brethren, how much more should the followers of Christ, who are themselves erring, and who every day need the forgiveness of God and of their brethren, feel joy over the return of a brother or a sister who has been deceived by the sophistry of Satan and has taken a wrong course and suffered because of it.”  Testimonies, vol. 3, 100.

 

9      How did Christ speak of the ministry of angels?  Matthew 18:10.  How is the rapidity of their movements described?  Daniel 9:20–23.

 

note:  “Angels of glory, that do always behold the face of the Father in heaven, joy in ministering to His little ones.  Trembling souls, who have many objectionable traits of character, are their special charge.  Angels are ever present where they are most needed, with those who have the hardest battle with self to fight, and whose surroundings are the most discouraging.  And in this ministry Christ’s true followers will co-operate.”  The Desire of Ages, 440.

     “As Daniel’s prayer is going forth, the angel Gabriel comes sweeping down from the heavenly courts, to tell him that his petitions are heard and answered.  This mighty angel has been commissioned to give him skill and understanding,—to open before him the mysteries of future ages.  Thus, while earnestly seeking to know and understand the truth, Daniel was brought into communion with Heaven’s delegated messenger.”  Review and Herald, February 8, 1881.

 

10    What comforting promise is given for those who trust and fear the Lord?  Psalms 34:7; 91:9–11.

 

note:  “God commissions His angels to save His chosen ones from calamity, to guard them from ‘the pestilence that walketh in darkness’ and ‘the destruction that wasteth at noonday.’  Psalm 91:6.  Again and again have angels talked with men as a man speaketh with a friend, and led them to places of security.  Again and again have the encouraging words of angels renewed the drooping spirits of the faithful and, carrying their minds above the things of earth, caused them to behold by faith the white robes, the crowns, the palm branches of victory, which overcomers will receive when they surround the great white throne.”  The Acts of the Apostles, 153.

 

11     When Jesus appears the second time, who will accompany Him?  Matthew 25:31.

 

note:  “When Christ came to this earth the first time, He came in lowliness and obscurity, and His life here was one of suffering and poverty. . . .  At His second coming all will be changed.  Not as a prisoner surrounded by a rabble will men see Him, but as heaven’s King.  Christ will come in His own glory, in the glory of His Father, and in the glory of the holy angels.  Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels, the beautiful, triumphant sons of God, possessing surpassing loveliness and glory, will escort Him on His way. In the place of a crown of thorns, He will wear a crown of glory—a crown within a crown.  In the place of that old purple robe, He will be clothed in a garment of whitest white, ‘so as no fuller on earth can white’ (Mark 9:3) it.  And on His vesture and on His thigh a name will be written, ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’  [Revelation 19:16.]”  God’s Amazing Grace, 358.

 

12    What part will the angels act when the Lord calls from their graves His sleeping saints?  Matthew 24:31.

 

note:  “The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’  [1 Corinthians 15:52.]  At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air.  Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’  [Matthew 24:31.]  Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms.  Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.”  The Great Controversy, 645.

 

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

 

   
   

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