Question: "What do angels do?"
Answer: Angels do many things. All that angels do is in reference to God and according to His will. The good angels (elect angels) worship and serve God, while also having a role in the world that the Lord created. There are different types of angels with unique roles: archangels, cherubim, and seraphim, for example. In the Bible, Michael the archangel is listed as being the chief of angels and seems to have a special role regarding Israel (Daniel 10:13; 12:1). In addition, the other named angel in Scripture, Gabriel, was tasked with delivering important messages to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary (Daniel 8:15–26; Luke 1:11–17, 19; 2:26–37). Some angels will have specific tasks in the future, such as the seven angels in charge of sounding the seven trumpets during the tribulation (Revelation 8:6—9:19).
The Bible tells us that angels worship the Lord and offer praises to Him (Psalm 148:2; Luke 2:13; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:11–12). Thousands upon thousands of angels worship the Lord, bringing Him glory (Hebrews 12:22). At certain times God calls angels to present themselves before Him (Job 1:6; 2:1). Angels also serve God and carry out His commands (Psalm 103:20). Some of these commands include being sent by God to answer prayer (Daniel 10:12; Acts 12:5–10) and serve and protect believers (Psalm 34:7; Daniel 6:22; Hebrews 1:14). At times, God can use angels as instruments of judgment on unbelieving and rebellious people and nations (Genesis 19:13; Acts 12:23; Revelation 15:6–8). Everything that angels do is in accordance with the will of God.
Scripture indicates that angels observe Christians and their lives (1 Corinthians 4:9; Ephesians 3:10). Angels cannot experience salvation, and they are interested in the conversion experience of individuals and the application of God’s grace (Luke 15:10). Salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection is such an amazing event that angels desire to investigate the preaching of the gospel: “It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen” (1 Peter 1:12, NLT). Angels have delivered messages to humans that have provided guidance and encouragement (Daniel 10:12, 14; Matthew 1:20–21; Luke 1:11–17, 19; 2:26–37; Acts 10:3–6; 27:23–24). Angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). At the end of a believer’s life, angels provide care at the time of death (Luke 16:22).
Scripture shows angels involved in battles in the spiritual realm (Daniel 10:13; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7–9). We may be unaware of the angelic battles, but they do happen. Angels also are a part of new epochs of history. Angels were present when the earth was created, giving praise to God (Job 38:4–7). At the giving of the law to Moses, angels were present and had a part in it (Acts 7:53). At the first coming of Jesus into the world, angels announced His birth (Luke 2:10–11). At the rapture, the archangel (presumably Michael) will be present and call out (1 Thessalonians 4:16). And during the tribulation, Jesus’ return, the millennial kingdom, and the eternal state, angels will have plenty to do, issuing punishment from God, binding Satan, and measuring the New Jerusalem (Revelation 5:11–12; 8:2–3, 6–12; 9:1, 13; 10:1; 14:6, 8–9; 15:6; 16; 18:1–3; 19:9; 20:1–3; 21:15; 22:1, 6).
Christians can learn much from the example of angels about obeying the Lord and praising His name. Truly, we can add our praises with the angels’ worship and say with the psalmist, “Let every living creature praise the LORD. Shout praises to the LORD!” (Psalm 150:6, CEV).