Let’s begin by reading Hebrews 1:13-14, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering SPIRITS, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”  This lets us know that angels are spiritual beings.  They do not have physical bodies that we can see or touch.  As ‘ministering angels’, they are sent by the Lord to minister to our needs.  There are times when the angels are with us, and we probably do not even know it.  We read in Psalm 91:11, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” 

There have been times when angels have taken on human form when the Lord directed them to do so.  We are exhorted in Hebrews 13:2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  We know that Abraham received strangers who turned out to be angels.  At one point, the Lord and two angels appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18:1-2, “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.”  Angels appeared to Lot in Genesis 19:1, “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.”  Angels appeared to Jacob in Genesis 32:1 which says, “And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.” 

A group of angels appeared to shepherds in their field to announce the birth of the Lord Jesus.  Luke 2:13-14 tells us, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” 

An angel instructed Philip to meet an Ethiopian eunuch in the desert in Acts 8:26, “And 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.”  An angel appeared to Peter and rescued him from prison in Acts 12:7-8, “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.” 

Although this may sound like the appearance of angels is commonplace, in reality the cases of angels appearing to people is very rare.  We just read that angels are ‘ministering spirits’ for us, but that doesn’t require direct communication from them or observation of them.  They simply do the tasks the Lord has sent them to do and then await further instructions from the Lord. 

In fact, we need to be careful not to get too taken up with the presence and service of angels. Some have gone so far as to worship angels as we read in Colossians 2:18, “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.”  Once, the Apostle John was so struck by the presence of an angel that he attempted to worship him.  We read in Revelation 22:8-9, “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”  We thank the Lord for the angels He sends to minister to us, but our concentration should be on the Lord, Himself, not His servants.  (476.4)