The book “THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS” #1
by Terery Law
Years ago, a good friend approached me and told me that I should write a book about angels. "After all," he pointed out, "angels have had a major influence on your life and ministry."
I hesitated for several reasons, the chief one being that I had never seen an angel, though it was true that they had impacted my life several times. However, in the 1990s I had a growing desire to study and write on the subject. My research began.
In December 1993 the issue came to a head. I sensed an overwhelming impression that I was to move ahead with the project, and so I decided to do it early in December. Interestingly, two weeks later, both Time and Newsweek came out with major articles on angels.
What startled me was the plethora of angel sightings that did not correlate with biblical data. They obviously were New Age (metaphysical) in flavor. I began to realize that good people were being influenced by supernatural events that they assumed came from God. I believe these angel sightings found such fertile ground because our society, schooled in rationalism, is hungry for anything spiritual.
As I researched existing material on angels, I discovered there was almost no literature that promoted a strong biblical teaching on this important area. Since I have embarked on my adventure, my decision has been confirmed by subsequent events.
The following year, 1994, the American Booksellers Association declared that it was the year for angels. The subject of angels was the most popular category featured on the exhibit floor. Hoping to ride the wave of successful sales, a number of New York publishing houses released titles on angels—most from a New Age perspective. Thirty-two books on the subject were scheduled to release by February 1995. Since then, countless of articles and books have been written about angels. Very few books have been written from a biblical standpoint.
I wrote this book as an answer to the deluge of information and to provide a biblical basis for examining the angel phenomena.
First, I want to let you know what people are saying and experiencing concerning angels. I quote a broad spectrum of opinions—evangelical, Charismatic, Roman Catholic, New Age, and secular ideas. However, simply because I quote a person does not necessarily mean I endorse that person or even agree with what he or she has said. Conversely, it certainly doesn't mean the person would agree with everything I believe or say either!
Second, I want to give you practical, biblical teaching about the role God has given angels in our lives. It is important to know that real angels (good angels) are seldom visible to us because of our human propensity to worship them. But I believe good angels and bad angels are active today, and it is imperative that every one of us recognizes the differences between them.
In a time when a spiritual vacuum seems to have created a rush of supernatural events, I am convinced that we need to know the truth about angels.
One of the most beautiful sights in the world is a rainbow arching across the vast expanse of sky on the Canadian prairies where I grew up. There were times when I sat on my tractor after a day's work on the farm and gazed at the horizon, wondering if there was a place where the heavens actually touched the earth.
[SO IT WAS WITH ME AS A CHILD OF 3, 4, 5, BORN IN A SMALL VILLAGE IN SOUTH WALES…..NATURE ALL AROUND; I WAS FASCINATED BY IT ALL, FROM THE SMALL CREATURES LIKE A LADY-BUG TO CATERPILLARS TO BIRDS TO HORSES AND TREES, GRASSES AND FLOWERS - Keith Hunt]
When things belonging to the supernatural realm intersect with the natural world, a meeting of heaven and the earth does occur. One unmistakable example is a visitation from an angel.
In the past, only "religious" people saw angels. But today the sightings and stories have spilled over into the secular world. In fact, most of the interest in angels during the 1990s was concentrated in the secular world until the church realized it needed to respond.
This supernatural interest raised numerous questions: Is there another dimension or realm with beings as real to that dimension as people are to this one? Is it possible for "aliens"—beings from another place—not only to operate in this place but also to be seen in it? And if there were beings from another realm, why did they seem to be seen more in the 1990s?
In this book I hope the reader will find answers to these questions and others that emerge from them. At a time when many people—believers in Jesus Christ and nonbelievers alike—are reporting encounters with angelic beings, we need to outline our facts and explore problems.
For example, why the strange bedfellows in this deluge of material about angels, such as the Bible being quoted next to New Age writings? There was a Broadway play that fuses Biblical and Mormon angelology. The combination results in a "gay fantasia on a national theme," says the playwright.1
When I wrote this book, I wondered if the craze over angels was simply another passing fad promoted by merchandisers out to make a profit. Even Hollywood began producing films and television shows such as Touched by an Angel, Highway to Heaven, Michael, and City of Angels on the subject of angels. Were the stories of personal encounters with angels products of people's imaginative fancies and desires, outright fabrications, or actual events?
Perhaps a Time magazine article put the situation in a nutshell: “For all those who say they have had some direct experience of angels, no proof is necessary; for those predisposed to doubt angels' existence, no proof is possible. And for those in the mystified middle, there is often a growing desire to be persuaded.” 2
That growing desire to be persuaded can be dangerous.
Time reporter Nancy Gibbs noted that the fascination with angels was "more popular than theological, a grass-roots revolution of the spirit." She said, "All sorts of people are finding all sorts of reasons" to find out about angels for the first time.3 Literary critic Harold Bloom of Yale University, who wrote a book on angels, the millennium, and memory, believed modern interest in angels is "about not wanting to die."4
One of the saddest—and most ironic—parts of the popular interest in angels is that many theologians who have read and taught the Bible for years apparently do not know what to think about this fascination. They also do not know what to do about it or how to correct it if it is wrong.
George Landes, professor of Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary, told Time.
In the eyes of traditional Church leaders, the popular authors who render angels into household pets, who invite readers to get in touch with their inner angels, or summon their own "angel psychotherapists," or view themselves as angels in training are trafficking in "discount" spirituality. And the churches are at a loss for a response.5
I believe angels are real. In fact, I've been unmistakably aware of angelic intervention several times in my own life, and I'll tell those stories later in the book. However, I also believe the reason for a person's interest in angelic encounters is crucial. A desire for knowing angels that is greater than a desire for knowing the Creator will lead to trouble.
Personal Encounters of an Angelic Kind
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.1
A man and his wife were out for a walk one spring morning when they saw, about ten feet above them, a "floating group of glorious, beautiful creatures that glowed with spiritual beauty." This group of six young women, described as "the host of heaven," wore flowing white garments and talked together earnestly in a language the couple could not understand. They said the experience changed their thinking about angels.2
[MAYBE FROM GOD…..MAYBE NOT BUT FORCES FROM THE EMEMY OF GOD - Keith Hunt]
A woman woke one night to see an angel standing at the foot of her bed. This angel wore "ecru-colored robes" that covered her feet, and she had beautiful wings, "like the feathers or wings of a big bird." The angel simply stood there with no mysterious light and left no message.3
[ANGELS DO NOT HAVE WINGS; VERY DOUBTFUL IT WAS FROM GOD - Keith Hunt]
A young man from a wealthy family was trying to escape from joining a particular church that seemed full of superstition. As he attempted to leave the church building, a large black dog appeared and blocked his way. The dog seemed threatening and kept him from leaving. When the dog disappeared, rays of light radiated from the building. The young man followed the light and saw a vision. He not only joined the church but also became well known in it.4
[MOST CHURCHES ARE FALSE, SO DOUBTFUL THIS WAS FROM GOD, UNLESS THE CHURCH WAS A TRUE CHURCH OF GOD - Keith Hunt]
George Washington, the first U.S. president, reportedly had a vision at Valley Forge in 1777. Washington is said to have seen a beautiful female appear before him as he worked at his desk one afternoon. She showed him visions of three wars to roll over this continent, two of which many have considered to be the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, with the third a "red" menace still to come.5
[MAYBE FROM GOD….BUT NOT A SURE THING AT ALL - Keith Hunt]
The stories I've repeated are just minuscule examples of the ongoing interest in angels.
When I originally wrote this book over a decade ago, the number and frequency of such reports had grown so much that the national news media devoted major news stories to the phenomenon. Both Time and Newsweek featured cover stories on angels (December 1993). Articles also appeared in other magazines and in major newspapers across the country, including the Wall Street Journal.
The Angel Collectors Club of America located in Golden, Colorado, holds a national convention every two years for those who collect angel art, books, and statuettes. Across the country, stores and boutiques opened that sell nothing but angel collectibles— calendars, perfume, napkin rings, place mats, stationery, ad infinitum. In many places people are sending angel collectibles in lieu of flowers to funerals.6
Seminars and workshops were being held across the country, with some of these designed to help you "get in touch" or communicate with your angel.7 Computerized conferences on angels were available for those with computers.
[VERY DANGEROUS, AS NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE ARE WE TAUGHT TO TRY AND “COMMUNICATE” WITH ANGELS….MORE OFTEN….99 PERCENT OF THE TIME, YOU’LL END UP COMMUNICATING WITH DEMONIC FORCES - Keith Hunt]
The book that seemed to have kicked off the 1990s explosion of interest in angels was Sophy Burnham's book titled A Book of Angels.8 By the end of 1993 it had sold more than a half-million copies, which, at that time, was phenomenal for the publishing industry. Her book is a mixed stew of folklore, personal experiences, and other stories she collected. In 1991 Burnham published a sequel, Angel Letters, containing letters from readers of the first book, which sold a quarter-million copies.
Many other books followed Burnham's, and the only major books that were published about angels from 1975 until 1990 were reissued: evangelist Billy Graham's best seller (now revised) Angels, Gods Secret Agents, Moody Bible Institute professor C. Fred Dickason's Angels: Elect and Evil, both published in 1975, and world-renowned philosopher Mortimer Adler's The Angels and Us, published in 1982.
(There were a few other angel books published, but they reached only a small, specific audience in the Christian market.)
Graham said of his 1975 classic that when he started to preach a sermon on angels there were so few modern publications available, he decided to write a book about them. Similarly, Adler's book was the result of a lecture on the philosophical significance of angels presented at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. This lecture drew a larger audience than he had drawn for thirty years. He too decided to write a book on the subject.9
For those who notice trends, a portent of things to come might have been the popular television show of the eighties called Highway to Heaven, starring the late Michael Landon as an angel trying to "earn his wings." In the nineties, the television show Touched by an Angel, starring Delia Reese and Roma Downey, showed how two angels portrayed as ordinary humans are sent from heaven to earth to help people with their problems and come to understand how much "God loves them."
Before that, Jimmy Stewart's classic Christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life (1946), was the only film about angels that caught the fancy of the general public, although other movies have been made with the same theme.
Was this angel phenomenon fad, fantasy, or reality? Are the heavenlies now meeting the earth in a greater way, allowing more supernatural beings to impinge into the material universe?
Fad, Fantasy, or Reality:
People who do not believe in the supernatural think this is a passing fad. Others believe masses of people are buying into a counterfeit because they have refused the reality of God. One cultural critic said:
Psychoanalysts are beginning to acknowledge that the major disease of our century is the loss of the soul. When we talk about angels, we see a culture trying to develop a sense of soul-making.10
Someone once said that a disbelief in God does not result in a belief in nothing; disbelief in God usually results in a belief in anything. Many people think a spiritual vacuum in America is the root cause of the interest in angels.
Time magazine found that 69 percent of those they polled believe in the existence of angels, and 46 percent believe they have a guardian angel.11
In the spring of 1993, an article on angels in Christianity Today pointed out that society seems "bent" on contact with the supernatural and is threatening to outdo the church in asking and talking about angels.12 It was predicted that the "quest for spiritual meaning" would be among baby boomers' greatest concerns in the nineties.13
So the nineties' interest in angels was a combination of all three: fad, fantasy, and reality.
The faddish part will definitely fade over time. Before World War II, people collected mostly fine art, stamps, crystal, china, and antiques. As the decades progressed, the diversified collections of campaign buttons, license plates, and Elvis artifacts surfaced. In the eighties people collected figurines and items picturing cows, geese, ducks, pigs, and chickens. In the nineties, people were collecting angels.
Just as certainly as this is a fad fueled by merchandising, some of the stories and "personal encounters" are the result of people's imaginations.
One theologian at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary said he would be "very suspicious" of a spiritual or supernatural experience not based on a moral code or a religious framework. He added, "You know, we have asylums filled with people who have spoken to angels and Napoleon and others."14
But even if some of this explosion is fad and some is fantasy, what about the reality? What standard can you use to test it?
Some people say you can rely on religious books, other historical accounts, or personal experience. Believers in Jesus as Christ would say there's only one proof: the Bible. According to that standard, all of the encounters listed at the beginning of this chapter fail the ultimate authenticity test: None of them fit biblical facts about God's angels. The discrepancies include the following:
1. In Scripture, angels of God always appear masculine. Angels appearing as female show up in some historical accounts and in some personal experiences but never in the Bible.
2. An angel of God never appears as an animal or bird. (An angel appeared to a donkey once.)
3. According to the Bible, angels are a created class of beings and are never represented as spiritually progressed humans. In other words, humans do not evolve into angels.
4. Every supernatural experience is not necessarily from God. Every spirit that calls itself "the Lord" is not necessarily the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ.
5. Many books portray angels as "good fairies," selflessly eager to help human beings. This is a one-sided view, and it is dangerous.
Are Angels Always Benign Spirits?
Human beings know instinctively there has to be something out there. But whole civilizations have scoffed at the idea of a Supreme Being who created and "owns" the universe and mankind. Yet they embrace lesser gods who lead them into bondage and degradation.
Is that what is happening in America?
For one thing, this is the first time in the history of the United States when a belief in God has been so depopularized that a belief in anything could happen. The lesser gods of humanism, materialism, and rebellion against authority (independence) no longer satisfy. The search is on for spiritual values—but without God.
Even secular writers have noticed the difference between the angels of the Bible and those being written and talked about now. The article in Time pointed out:
Jehovah's angels are powerful creatures... [but] in their modern incarnation, these mighty messengers and fearless soldiers have been reduced to bite-size beings, easily digested. The terrifying cherubim [of the Bible] have become Kewpie-doll cherubs…..
The emphasis on angels as divine intermediaries, theologians worry, just creates a greater distance from an ever more abstract God. And to the extent that angels are always [presented as] benign spirits, it evades any reckoning with the struggle between good and evil.15
Presenting angels as always benign is the equivalent of putting bias into a laboratory experiment, leaving out some of the data to achieve a predetermined desired result. It begs some logical questions.
Where did angels come from? Did they evolve? What kind of amoeba could evolve into a heavenly creature? If it wasn't evolution, who created angels? Was their creator good or evil?
What about people's encounters with dark beings? Do we claim all these stories simply aren't true? Are only benign angels real?
One can understand secular writers not being educated in biblical facts about angels. But to find that many Christians do not know the answers to these questions is disturbing. In 1994, one of the largest mainline denominations in America at the time, one with a strong evangelical community, offered a variety of books from many publishers in its catalog. Two of these were angel books—one was for "advanced aspiring angels," and the other was a "guidebook to awaken the angel within each of us."16
Several novels published by Christian companies that year also showed the same lack of familiarity with biblical data about angels. In fact, some plots followed the theme of Highway to Heaven and had people turning into angels or angels earning their wings. Other novels had more complex themes.
In one, a young angel was made a normal boy, complete with the hurts and insecurities of any child. He was told by the archangel Michael that he would live as five different boys in different time periods. Furthermore, he was unaware that he was an angel and would live his five lives simultaneously.
That is more than Jesus did—live five different lives at once. Also angels in Scripture do not age or "earn their wings" but exist eternally as they were created.
A second Christian novel had a woman journalist actually being the third angel of "woe" of Revelation. (Compare Revelation 8:13 and 11:15).
Does literary license excuse taking liberty with biblical facts? Christians and non-Christians need to wake up and start thinking about what's being said.
Are we entertaining lies that are centuries old?
Nothing New Under the Sun
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing; under the sun.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it
Secular histories, religious histories, and archaeology show that nearly all of the world's cultures accepted the existence of supernatural beings. Many societies made no distinction between good and bad spirits. The ancient Egyptians believed supernatural beings controlled all affairs of life. This was also the case in Persia, Babylon, and India.
In spite of a culture focused on philosophy and humanistic ideas, even the ancient Greeks believed in spirits, with spirit worship playing a part in their daily lives. Socrates claimed to have a personal guardian spirit. He called it a daimon, and it warned him of trouble but never told him what to do.2
The Romans absorbed most other religions into their own. That is, they did this as long as the other religion was polytheistic. They simply added new gods to their pantheon.
Geddes MacGregor wrote in Angels, Ministers of Grace.
From Scandinavia to Iran, from Ireland to South America, popular folklore is full of allusions to such elemental spirits... who have been carried over from old Celtic, Scandinavian, Teutonic, or other old folklore.3
Even in the Far Eastern cultures of China, Japan, and Korea, angels and/or demons were an integral part of their religions, although many times these beings were called gods.
In the Far East, spirits were thought to be dead humans, resulting in ancestor worship instead of direct worship of angels or demons.
The Bible first mentions heavenly beings in the third chapter of Genesis.
God placed cherubim at the east end of the Garden of Eden to guard the tree of life after Adam and Eve sinned.
Some theologians think cherubim are a separate class of beings from angels. Others think cherubim, seraphim, living creatures, and angels—all mentioned in Scripture—are simply various angelic orders.
[HEY ARE DIFFERENT CREATED BEINGS, WITH DIFFERENT ROLES AND FUNCTIONS, AND EVEN LOOKING DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER - Keith Hunt]
FALLEN ANGELS PROCREATING WITH PHYSICAL HUMAN FEMALES?
A very curious story found in Genesis 6 is the oldest written mention of what the ancient Jews and even the Jews of Jesus' day thought were angels.
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
—Genesis 6:1-2, 4
These "children" (called Nephilim, Rephaim, or Anakim) are mentioned a number of times throughout the Old Testament. Often they are simply called giants.
Goliath, the Philistine champion who was defeated by the shepherd youth David may have been a descendant of these unions. He was said to have been more than nine feet tall (1 Sam. 17:4), so certainly he and his brothers would have been considered giants in a society where the average man was just a little less than five and a half feet tall4 (2 Sam. 21:19, 22).
There are two schools of thought about Genesis 6:1-4 among well-respected church leaders on both sides of the question. One is that angels cohabited with women and produced giants as offspring, which was the majority position of the church until the Age of Enlightenment. The other is that "sons of God" referred to the sons of Seth, the righteous line from Adam, and "daughters of men" referred to women from the wicked line of Cain.
It seems unlikely that it can be proved one way or the other, but ancient writings give most support to the idea that the sons of God were fallen angels. (See Appendix A for more details.) A story about angels who allegedly mated with women was included in the writings of Josephus, a well-known Jewish historian whose books date from about A.D. 90. The editor for a modern publication of Josephus's works noted that, "This notion, that the fallen angels were, in some sense, the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion of antiquity."5
The importance of this story is that it appears in one form or another in all ancient civilizations and cultures. It is impossible to study angels, religion, or even culture and everyday life in the pre-Christian era without finding stories about some form of supernatural beings mating with women.
A theologian named Alexander Hislop did a monumental job in the late 1800s of tracing connections between all of the early religions. He compared the belief and worship of supernatural beings across nation after nation and religion after religion. His report gives more evidence that indeed something happened somewhere in the ancient times involving the natural and supernatural realms. Whatever that was, it still influences many peoples today.6
Hislop's book also certainly shows that "there is nothing new under the sun"—in the occult realm, at any rate.
[THE IDEA THAT FALLEN ANGELS MATED WITH HUMAN FEMALES IS OUT AND OUT GROSS SATANIC LIES AND FALSEHOOD. THERE IS A TRUTH TO THIS “SUBJECT” AND I HAVE EXPOUNDED THIS TRUTH IN A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER THIS SECTION OF ANGELS - Keith Hunt]
A Cycle Being Repeated
Periods of heightened interest in angels occurred in the past, but they did not lead to an increased interest in the God of the Bible. Angels were emphasized in the arts in the 1800s. A movement came afterward that was similar to Far Eastern practices in that it did not focus on angels but on what adherents called ghosts, the spirits of the dead.
This interest in hypnosis, psychic phenomena, and mental healing came to be called spiritism or modern spiritualism. Several hundred churches of that belief system still exist today, with about a hundred thousand members in the United States.
Intellectuals and people in the arts were the greatest promoters of spiritualism. They accepted the theory of evolution, they refused to believe in God, and they denied the existence of heaven or hell. However, they did not want to give up the belief that man lives forever. This combination of beliefs made them vulnerable to the idea that those who have died could be contacted through a living person. Seances (gatherings where a medium contacts dead friends or relatives) were not only popular but also fashionable in Great Britain and America until the days of World War II.
One cult that rose up had angels appearing under the name of "ascended masters." That name came from a belief that man continued to evolve through lifetime after lifetime on earth and then in the supernatural realm after he died.7
Many other movements and groups developed during this period, including the Christian Science Church, the Unity School of Christianity and New Thought.
New Thought was the first Gnostic American cult.
Why is that significant? Because Gnosticism has been a perversion of truth since the earliest days of the church. A belief system is considered Gnostic when it is built on a system of "secret knowledge" or direct divine revelation, in addition to the Bible.8 People in the New Thought movement thought they had special knowledge that would give them health and prosperity.
Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning "knowledge" or "science."9 This system of thought or belief is a complex religious movement that surfaced in the second century. By the end of that century, Gnosticism was no longer a school of thought in the church but had divided into separate sects.
Many historians think Gnostics in the church (A.D. 250-350) derived their ideas from pagan religions such as Hinduism and Greek philosophy. Also, it seems from comments in some of the New Testament pastoral letters that the "false teaching" denounced by the apostles was similar but less well developed than that openly taught in the second-century church. (For a more complete definition of Gnosticism, see endnote 8.)
In the twentieth century, Gnosticism appears to be raising its head again. This new version of old pagan systems is called New Age.
The New Age Movement
A large number of Gnostic texts (the Nag Hammadi collection) found in Upper Egypt in 1945 helped to fuel the New Age movement, which emerged from the ashes of New Thought. The New Age movement surfaced almost full-blown in the mid-1960s.
New Age is not an official religion. There is no central organization to join, no creed to confess, and no one particular Vatican or Mecca. Instead of denominations, it is a collection of independent groups that may or may not contain permanent members or even meet in one place.
Russell Chandler, author of Understanding the New Age, says it is a hybrid mix that includes modern philosophy and psychology, religion (mostly Eastern mysticism), medicine (with a holistic emphasis), humanism - Gnosticism, and self-potential and self-improvement schools, mixed with the counter-culture of the 1950s and 1960s.10
New Age also includes astrology, science fiction, and environ-mentalism. Real concern over the state of the planet has metamorphosed in some groups into the worship of the Greek goddess Gaia in the guise of the Earth Mother (Mother Nature). New Age also includes psychic phenomena, white witchcraft, and magic.
"New Age magic" is the result of a desire for "a certain and secret wisdom." That is essentially the same enticement Eve faced in the Garden of Eden—to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and become a god.11 This desire affects everything else, even the yearning to change the politics of the world.
Chandler wrote about the political aspect of the movement:
Thus, the New Age agenda calls for an emerging global civilization and one-world government, including "planetary taxation" and the United Nations as the sole governing agency. It would also create an eclectic "world religion" that closely resembles Eastern religious systems rather than Western monotheistic faiths.12
Many Christians are being drawn into the New Age movement. Also, many New Age teachings are showing up in the belief systems of some Christians and some churches—often without their realizing it.
At the other extreme, some well-meaning Christians have criticized doctrines that really are Bible truths but have been counterfeited by some New Age teachings. In 1985 the Southern Baptist Convention issued a very balanced statement to Christians about the New Age:
Be particularly careful that you are not inclined toward a kind of uninformed hysteria characterized by oversimplification and indiscriminate fear that you are threatened by conspiracies of all sorts. While New Age thinking and New Age-oriented activities are serious and dangerous, do not allow their presence and influence to drive you to indiscriminate distrust of fellow Christians and blanket disenchantment with authentic Christian institutions.13
For example, when New Agers made the rainbow an accepted symbol of the movement, many Christians began to treat it as an occult sign. However, the rainbow is God's sign given especially to man, signifying His love and mercy (Gen. 9:12-17).
It is important to keep in mind that the connection between Gnosticism and New Age is very real and dangerous. Peter Jones, professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, says New Age and Gnosticism "resemble one another like two Siamese cats, sometimes in the smallest detail."14
If the New Age movement is Gnostic, then that means it is premised on "special knowledge." So where does that special knowledge come from? Right now the source of choice is angels who claim to come from God.
The main theme in modern books about angels is that each person has his or her own personal angel who will help with direction, understanding, and knowledge. These "helpers" are female as well as male, short, tall, fat, thin, and of all races. Most are described as "wonderful beings" who only intend good for mankind. Some are lights, some are birds, some have wings, and some do not.
The only standard of measurement is that the person reporting the incident believes an angel was involved or says the being claimed to be an angel. Good, bad, or indifferent, any kind of apparition, ghost, or manifestation is considered angelic.
Parallels: The Way It Was and Is
Hollywood's elite group is searching for a "higher power" and is finding it in the mystic stream of Judaism called Kabbalah (Cabbalah), which dates back to Babylonian captivity in the sixth century B.C.15 In Kabbalism, these twenty-two "divine agents" are the sounds (or tones) produced by God that became ministering angels who govern for Him.16
The modern Jewish attitude toward angels tends to regard them as symbolic, poetic, or representing earlier cultures' ideas of the unknown. The Encyclopedia Judaica says Jews feel a belief in angels cannot be reconciled with modern rationalism. Only among the small fundamentalist sections, such as the Hasidim and some oriental Jewish communities, is the belief in literal angels still upheld.17
Historically, angels were thought of as gods and goddesses that one could get in touch with through trances by priestesses and oracles. Next, angels became known as spirit guides who could be contacted through mediums. A couple of decades ago, medium became an old-fashioned word. Today, those who contact spirits are called channelers.
In this present surge of angelology, spirit guides, channelers, and ascended masters have once again become known as angels, and anyone can talk to or become one. We have come full circle, returning to two thousand years ago when the apostle Paul warned Christians not to worship angels or entertain false teaching from them (Col. 2:18; Gal. 1:8).
As one scholar commented: "The way it was is the way it is"—a good enough bottom line for the theme of this chapter: parallels in history.18
On the other hand, we cannot stop believing in God's angels simply because some people misinterpret, misunderstand, or falsify their appearances, behavior, and purpose.
Nor do we want to be like the Sadducees, who, as Mortimer Adler pointed out, did not believe in angels or in anything supernatural despite all the references to angels in the Old Testament.19
Now that we've seen what people have thought of angels from outside of the church, let's look at what the church has said.
Angels and the Church
The sound of heavenly voices, sweetly and softly joined in harmony, without an apparent melody, was overpowering. The effect on the hearer was to render him as incapable of movement as though nailed to the spot.1
Angels have been reported as participants in the activities of the Christian church since the first century. (See the Book .of Acts.)
The warnings of the apostles against angel worship (Col. 2:18-19) and false angels (Gal. 1:8) kept Christian focus on angels at a minimum for three centuries.
But in A.D. 325, the Christian Council of Nicea included a belief in angels as part of orthodox church dogma, which may have sparked some worship of angels in the church. This caused another council less than twenty years later (A.D. 343) to prohibit angel worship, calling it idolatry.2
From about A.D. 500 until the time of the bubonic plague in A.D. 1347, however, angels were so much a part of the Roman Catholic Church doctrines, worship services, and thinking that an entire angelology developed as church dogma. This time has become known as the Golden Age of Angels.
During the Middle Ages, theologians constructed an intricate picture of the heavenly host based on a book that was hundreds of years old called The Celestial Hierarchy. It outlined nine "choirs" of angels arranged in three triads as follows:
The highest triad—seraphim, cherubim, thrones
The middle triad—dominions, virtues, powers
The lowest triad—principalities, archangels, angels
Supposedly, in this angelic bureaucracy, the higher ranks worshiped God, the middle ranks kept the universe running, and the lower ranks carried out specific tasks.3 (I'll describe what I believe Scripture says about the ranks of angels in chapter twelve.)
The author of The Celestial Hierarchy wrote under the pseudonym of Dionysius the Areopagite, the name of a man converted by Paul at Athens (Acts 17:34) .4 Years later it was discovered that the manuscript was dated much too late for its author to have been Paul's convert. Today he is called "pseudo-Dionysius."5
However, pseudo-Dionysius's hierarchical arrangement of heavenly beings was accepted by the Roman Catholic Church as authentic. It was retained as the basis of the Catholic angelology system until modern times.
Not only were orders of angels introduced by pseudo-Dionysius but also personal names of angels. Angels underwent what some have called a "population explosion" in those years, so much so that in A.D. 747 the Seventh Ecumenical Synod established a limited dogma on angels. This banned the use of names or calling on angels for help, except for Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael (the latter is not mentioned in the Protestant Bible but is in the Roman Catholic Douay Bible).
Whether or not their names were sanctioned by the church, angels were the subject of many books and articles by theologians during the Golden Age of Angels. These men thought that angels existed to fill the gap between God and man. Until science began to explore the universe, the church thought angels were the power behind the moving of the planets and everything in nature. But contrary to common belief, theologians never tried to estimate how many angels could stand on the head of a pin. Adler wrote that this was a sarcasm developed in later ages by writers scoffing at the medieval preoccupation with angels.6 After all, the Middle Ages was the period during which most of the art depicting angels—still used today as models—originated. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says that actually the figural type of the Christian angel was derived from the winged Greek goddess of victory, Nike.7
This artistic source and the fact that many medieval angels were depicted as feminine or effeminate is perhaps why many people "see," paint, or think of angels as being feminine. However, the Bible always portrays angels as masculine.
Fat little cherubs such as Cupid are not found in biblical reference either. Time magazine commented:
Only in the New Age would it be possible to invent an angel so mellow that it can be ignored. According to the rest of history, anyone who invites an encounter with an angel should be prepared to be changed by it.8
In fact, the cherubim of the Bible don't look anything like a cherubl This is how the apostle John described one of the angels he saw:
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.
With the advent of the Reformation (1500s), the focus on angels subsided.
Early Protestants thought Renaissance paintings were decadent and argued that angels or saints were not needed as mediators between God and man.
Martin Luther, who was the catalyst for the Reformation, did refer in a sermon to "his guides, the holy angels," but he had an entirely different attitude about them than the church world from which he came.9 To Luther, angels were created by God to serve His people, so they did not require special veneration.
The Western church became interested in angels again during the 1700s and 1800s, probably because of the arts and their influence on religious thinking. Poets and artists were inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno, and other works that spoke of the angelic realm.
One of these artists was William Blake, whose writings and art often featured angels, many of them appearing feminine.10 The Victorian artists continued this tradition.
Essentially, this time of interest in angels extended into what is known as the Romantic period, which Christian scholar Edward T. Welch calls:
... an ideological revolution that resulted in a remaking of God and the human soul. It emerged at a time when the influence of Christianity seemed to be waning and people were changing their view of themselves and their world. The Romantic movement also grappled with the relationships among God, man, and creation. The conclusion, however, was decidedly anti-Christian and pantheistic.11
One of the most influential teachers on angels at the time was Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish mystic and clairvoyant who was also the son of a Protestant bishop. Until his mid-fifties, Swedenborg's interests were mostly in technical and mechanical inventions. One author says he actually succeeded in getting an aircraft to fly for a few moments.12
Swedenborg's thirst for knowledge led him to investigate dreams, and from that he began to have visions. He felt his new mission was to discover the "hidden meaning" of the Bible and to describe the world of the spirit. Some of his descriptions came in the form of automatic writing.
He said angels live like men with clothes, houses, and other things. He was one of the first to teach that angels (and demons) are really people who have progressed or regressed.
Swedenborg drew so many followers that he left Christianity and formed a new sect, the Church of the New Jerusalem. Swedenborgianism still has about one hundred thousand members worldwide.13 His followers are considered spiritualists, not orthodox Protestants.
The focus on angels seems to have been largely with individuals or revival movements. The traditional Protestant church played no large part in this wave of angelology, though many believed in biblical angels who would protect and assist in times of trouble as an answer to prayer.
Throwing Out the Baby With the Bath Water
With the advent of the twentieth century, and especially during World War I, the Great Depression and then World War II, the idea of angels was deemed esoteric or out-and-out strange, even in much of Christendom.
Much of the skepticism about the supernatural may have had its roots in the epidemic of influenza in 1918 and 1919 called "the forgotten pandemic."14 It seemed to have the same effect as the Black Death of the fourteenth century in that people became depressed and disillusioned with the supernatural. The result was a move away from a preoccupation with the supernatural. However, instead of arriving at a position of balance, the pendulum swung to the other extreme—rationalism.
Yet if people in the church denied the existence of angels, it struck at the very deity of Jesus. In other words, if Jesus taught that angels existed and they didn't, then He couldn't be God.15
Seeing this historical pattern of swinging from extreme gullibility to extreme cynicism, from romanticism to rationalism, makes a strong argument for finding balance in the extremes of angelology today.
The Supernatural Visits Churches
Even though society took a turn to extreme rationalism in the twentieth century and the church seemed in danger of going with it, there were still reports of angelic activity among Christians.
Around the turn of the century, evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter became very well known for the supernatural manifestations in her meetings. A number of angel sightings and visions of angels were reported in the services. Also, a large portion of the congregation from time to time were said to have heard angelic choirs.16
[IF THIS WAS ALL IN A MAIN-STREAM PROTESTANT CHURCH, VERY VERY UNLIKELY IT WAS FROM GOD, BUT FROM THE DECEPTIVE OTHER SIDE - Keith Hunt]
Angels also were reported in the services of Aimee Semple McPherson, who founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the early part of this century.
[AGAIN NOT FROM GOD’S SIDE - Keith Hunt]
Roy Hicks Sr., retired general supervisor of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, wrote in Guardian Angels about one of the incidents that took place in the early days of McPherson's ministry. She was holding outdoor meetings and unknowingly pitched her tent on a lot where the locals played baseball. As the service began, she saw the angry young men coming from the bushes around the tent. They were carrying gasoline cans, and she knew they intended to burn the tent.
She related, "I said to the Lord, 'What shall I do?"'
The Lord told her to lift her hands and begin to worship Him. As she obeyed, her eyes were opened in the Spirit, and she saw the tent completely surrounded by a host of angels with their wings extended and touching, wing tip to wing tip. As she opened her eyes, she saw the men, all with looks of astonishment on their faces. They had dropped the cans and stood there with mouths agape. Later on, many of them began to attend the services, and many were saved.
[ANGELS DO NOT HAVE WINGS….. SATANIC FORCE CAN DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING TO DECEIVE PEOPLE INTO A FALSE CHRISTIANITY - Keith Hunt]
When Angelus Temple….was erected, she had the painters stencil angels, wing tip to wing tip, around the perimeter of the auditorium just under the huge dome to commemorate the event.17
[ANGELS DON’T HAVE WINGS….. ALL FALSE CHRISTIANITY - Keith Hunt]
One of the most well-known accounts of an angel working in the church in twentieth-century Protestantism took place during the ministry of William Branham, who was called "the healer-prophet."18 His crusades spanned the years from World War I to the 1960s. Branham said an angel stood behind his right shoulder and gave him exact details and events about people's lives that Branham then spoke forth and used for ministry. Even church leaders who were not impressed with Branham's ministry had to admit that the accuracy of what he told people was phenomenal. Branham also said the angel performed all the healings in his ministry. He cited John 5:4, which says those who dipped in the Pool of Bethesda immediately after an angel stirred the water were healed (KJV).
[OVERALL FALSE DEMONIC SO-CALLED ANGELS - PROTESTANTISM IS FROM THE WHORE BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION. HEALINGS CAN TAKE PLACE IF THE ONE TO BE HEALED IS LOOKING TO JESUS IN FAITH FOR HEALING - Keith Hunt]
Skeptics in the Church Today
While the secular world is grasping for the supernatural today, it seems that some people in the church have polarized in the opposite direction toward skepticism.
J. Rodman Williams, professor of theology at Regent University (formerly CBN University), says that in many Christian circles today angels are viewed as symbolic or "as mythopoetic pictures of various dimensions of human existence."
In 1988 Professor Williams cited a "growing skepticism" among Christians concerning the existence of angels, not because of an "antisupernatural" belief but from a question of relevance.19 He raised some key questions:
Does Christian faith need angels?
Is it not enough to believe in God without adding to the superstructure by bringing in angels?
Are we ill-advised in Christian doctrine to venture again into this area considering how angelology went beyond the scriptural record during the Middle Ages?
As the author of Systematic Theology From a Charismatic Perspective, Williams comes from a movement with an emphasis on the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yet he believes the church has been so "burned" with false manifestations and theology that it might be better to leave angelology alone.
On the other hand, he added, "If angelic visits are still possible, there is all the more need for such study to be done." He cited a 1980s book Angels on Assignment in which a local pastor, Roland Buck of Boise, Idaho, describes his visits by angels.20 (The late Rev. Buck was a personal friend of mine. I'll tell more about his story later.)
It seems that Williams has the best answer: If angels or beings calling themselves angels are making appearances, and if the general public is about to plunge off the deep end into "angelolatry," then it behooves the church to find the truth in the middle of extremes and have some answers for Christians and for non-Christians.
Branham, McPherson, and others provide examples of angelic activity in the church during the time of rationalism in the mid-twentieth century. As we shall see, angels were active among believers and nonbelievers in one of the most stressful of all human situations—war.
Angelic Warriors in the Twentieth Century
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in
all thy ways.
[God] has all eternity in which to listen to the split second of prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashes inflames.1
Many stories from times of war include incidents in which seemingly miraculous things happened—things with no natural explanation—that are attributed to angels.
Some of these stories involve nations, and some involve individuals. Some have more than one witness who saw the same thing or similar things.
Why do angels appear at some times and not at others?
Does God "take sides" with one nation over another?
It seems, as John Wesley once said, "God does nothing unless somebody prays."
As we will see when we look at stories of angels in the Bible, it appears that the earnest prayers of people who cry out to God often bring deliverance. At times, that deliverance is in the form of angelic ministry.
The other major factor that appears in biblical patterns of angelic assistance is that God has an overall plan for this planet and for His children. If human events directly affect His plan, you may be sure that angels will be involved.
And, no, God does not "take sides." What happens in battles and wars is that sometimes one side is on God's side. God's angels do not fight on the side of those who do not believe in Him. In fact, angels will eventually be involved in judgment handed down against those who have been against God. (Look at the role of angels in the Book of Revelation.)
[GOD STILL HAS HIS PHYSICAL “CHOSEN CHILDREN” OF ABRAHAM - THE 13 TRIBES OF ISRAEL; GOD WILL STEP IN IF HE MUST, TO MAKE SURE HIS PLAN FOR THOSE ISRAEL TRIBES REACHES ITS FULFILMENT - Keith Hunt]
Several of the most well-known incidents of angels related in this chapter involve Great Britain and the Allies on one side and the Axis powers on the other. Angels appear to have intervened on behalf of the Allies more than once. These stories have appeared in print many times before, but they are so important and have so many witnesses that they bear repeating.
Does the fact that angels intervened on behalf of the Allies mean that God opposed every citizen of the Axis nations?
Of course not. However, the people in Axis countries were under governmental authorities who were opposed by God. Particularly in Germany, the ruling Nazi party obviously opposed God's moral laws and God's people. We hear and read frequently about Hitler's intention to wipe out the Jewish race.
God does not "take sides" but rather helps those on His side, and He does pull down evil kingdoms, as we see in the Old Testament.
Angels in World War I
A story from World War I involving angels known as "The Angels of Mons" was told throughout England within a month after the battle.
Near Mons, France, in August 1914, heavily outnumbered British troops had fought with no respite for days. They had lost many men and guns, and defeat looked inevitable.
Captain Cecil W. Hayward was there and tells how suddenly, in the midst of a gun battle, firing on both sides stopped. To their astonishment, the British troops saw "four or five wonderful beings, much bigger than men," between themselves and the Germans. These "men" were bare-headed, wore white robes, and seemed to float rather than stand. Their backs were to the British, and their arms and hands were outstretched toward the Germans. At that moment, the horses ridden by German cavalrymen became terrified and stampeded off in every direction.2
Of all the angel war stories, the incident at Mons probably has the largest number of witnesses reporting similar sightings.
Hayward also told of another battle sometime later in World War I when matters again seemed hopeless for British soldiers who were surrounded by German troops. Suddenly the heavy enemy fire stopped completely, and everything grew strangely quiet. Then "the sky opened with a bright shining light, and figures of luminous beings appeared" floating between the British and German lines.
German troops retreated in disorder, allowing the Allied forces to reform and fall back on a line of defense farther to the west. German prisoners were taken that day, and when they were asked why they surrendered when they had the British troops surrounded, they looked amazed, saying, "But there were hosts and hosts of you."3
Captain Hayward also wrote of the incident of the "white battalion" at Bethune three and a half years later. He was one of the intelligence officers who interrogated German prisoners from that battle.
In April 1918, near the close of World War I, a mysterious white battalion was seen by hundreds of German soldiers near Bethune, France. One German officer told of his troops marching along in excellent spirits because they thought the British were defeated. Suddenly a lieutenant grabbed him by the arm, saying:
Look, Herr Captain, there is a large body of mounted men approaching Bethune from the other side. See, the smoke of the burning houses is blowing away and I can discern their uniforms. Why, they are all dressed in white and are mounted on white horses. Who can they be?4
At first the captain thought the troops might be British Colonial mounted troops, but they knew of none who wore white uniforms and rode white chargers. The Germans stopped to watch the cavalrymen advancing through the smoke, their figures clearly outlined in the sun. Mortar shells shook the ground, and intensive machine gun fire raked the men, but the cavalry unit dressed in white rode on at a slow trot. Not one man or horse was hit.
Riding in front of them was "a fine figure of a man" who had a sword by his side like those used by the Crusaders, but his hands quietly held the reins of his horse. Suddenly terror seized the German troops, and they fled.
The British troops did not see the cavalrymen dressed in white. Only the Germans did. The Prussian captain said he knew at that moment Germany had lost the war due to these mysterious troops on the side of the British.
This incident reminds us of Old Testament battles when God confounded Israel's enemies with fear and terror, causing a complete rout. Also, in Exodus 23:27 God had promised the Israelites He would send His fear before them and make their enemies "turn their backs" to them.
Hope Price, who recorded the World War I stories in a book, noted that the British government officially sponsored national days of prayer during the conflict. She believes the government's commitment to prayer played a role in the angelic intervention on behalf of British soldiers.5
In other words, the official government of a nation can represent that nation. Actions of the government can bring divine intervention, both for blessings and for judgment.
Angels in World War II
One Sunday morning in September of 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and some military advisers were in an underground operations room in southern England watching the lights on the electrical battle charts. There was a dangerous shortage of materials, and intelligence reports showed that German forces were preparing to invade England.
On that otherwise quiet Sunday morning, a sudden alert heralded the approach of Nazi aircraft from several directions—forty from one direction, sixty from another, followed by a formation of eighty planes. This was only the beginning. Aircraft continued to fill the sky from every direction.
As each Nazi formation neared the English coast, a British squadron would rise to meet it. Since there were only 25 squadrons assigned to the 11th Fighter Command defending southern England, soon all of them were in the air. Tension grew in the underground shelter.... Then inexplicably, the discs [markers] on the wall chart began to move eastward. The great Nazi air flotilla had turned back.
With 185 of their aircraft downed in flames, they were in retreat! Miraculously, against all logistical probability, the Royal Air Force had won the battle!6
There was no natural explanation for the outcome of this Nazi attack during the Battle of Britain, but intelligence officers who interrogated downed Nazi airmen heard this question from at least three different men: "Where did you get all the planes you threw into the battle over Britain?"
The British force was inferior, but the Germans claimed that they were outnumbered by the British planes they saw.
Again, the British, as a nation, were praying for the safety of their country and their military forces. From 1940 until the end of the war, the people throughout the Commonwealth observed a silent moment of prayer at 9:00 p.m. each day.
An imprisoned Nazi intelligence officer told his captors:
With the striking of your Big Ben clock each evening at nine, you used a secret weapon which we did not understand. It was very powerful and we could find no countermeasure against it.7
Evangelist Billy Graham in his book Angels, God's Secret Agents related an incident that reportedly occurred during the weeks-long Battle of Britain. He quoted reporter-author Adela Rogers St. John's story of a celebration some time after the war at which Chief Marshal Lord Hugh Dowding was present, along with many other dignitaries, including the king.
Lord Dowding told of British pilots who were badly wounded or even dead in their cockpits—yet their planes kept flying. On occasion, other pilots saw figures at the controls who were not RAF pilots. The air chief marshal believed angels actually piloted those planes.8
Roy Hicks Sr. wrote about a chaplain in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.
During World War II, Chaplain Alex B. Cowie was stationed in the Pacific arena and riding in a United States transport plane when it was attacked by Japanese fighter planes. His plane was so badly shot up that the pilot said, "We can't make it. We're going down." As the chaplain prayed, he looked out the window. The Lord opened his eyes, and he saw a mighty angel holding up the wing of the plane. He looked out the other side and saw another angel holding up that wing.9
After they landed, Cowie said everyone who saw the plane touch down marveled that it had made it back with everyone safe because it was damaged so badly.
Other Angelic Rescues From Attacks
Early in 1968 an entire village in South Vietnam is said to have experienced angelic protection. Cliff Custer told this story at the annual meeting of the Camps Farthest Out in May 1968, held at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Custer said he and a friend, Keith Swaggerty, were visiting a village where there were many Christians when a Viet Cong guerilla, who had spent time as a youth in this community, slipped into the village and warned they would be attacked the next day by a thousand Viet Cong.
The villagers had no weapons or ammunition and only a few men who could fight, so they decided to let the Lord be their defender. Instead of trying to escape or hide in fear, they prayed fervently and sang songs of praise and thanksgiving that filled their hearts "with a strange peace and courage."
The next day, while it was still dark, the first shots were heard. But then, just as suddenly, the firing stopped. There was nothing but silence the rest of the night, the next day, and in the days to come. A few days later some of the Viet Cong were captured by South Vietnamese forces and brought into the village.
"Why did you halt your attack on our village?" they were asked.
"As we opened fire," the Viet Cong prisoners replied in agitation, "all of a sudden there appeared all around the village men clad in shining white. We fired at them, but they wouldn't fall. They shone brighter than the sun, and we couldn't aim at them. We were terrified, and we ran."10
During the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, missionaries of several denominations in and around Peking fled to the British Embassy. During one attack they saw their enemy abruptly stop and point upward. Suddenly, the attacking force fled. Those who were captured said, "We saw the walls suddenly swarming with angels in white. Everyone began shouting that the shen (gods) had come down to fight for the foreigners, and our cause was lost."11
In his book God, Satan, and Angels, John MacArthur Jr. tells an incident about missionary John Paton. One night, natives known to be cannibals surrounded the lean-to on the South Pacific beach where Paton and his wife were living. The couple dropped to their knees and prayed. Soon the attackers vanished into the jungle. A year later the chief of the tribe was converted, and Paton asked him why the group left so hurriedly that night. The chief described seeing "hundreds of big men" in shining clothes with swords in their hands.12
Some may think the connection between prayer and angelic assistance or other miracles is just a coincidence, but William Temple, the late Archbishop of Canterbury, pointed out, "When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I do not, they don't."13
Many of these kinds of stories have been published, but many others have not. Some people have been too afraid of being laughed at to tell such experiences.
Few, however, seem to have any standard of measurement as to whether what they saw were truly angels or demonic beings appearing as angels or figments of their imaginations. Today's so-called angels are certainly not shy!
In the next chapter, we will see that knowledge about what angels are and are not is essential to judging an experience or a story. Not only individuals, but also millions of people have been affected eternally by beings the Bible calls "angels of light.”
Angels of Light
One night a demon appeared to an old monk in his room, saying, "I am the angel Gabriel, and I have been sent to you." The monk responded humbly, "You must have the wrong room. I’m not worthy to have an angel visit me." Unable to tempt him to vanity the demon vanished.1
Many an arrogant person has received an angel of light and "come a real cropper," as equestrians say, which means tumbling head over heels off the back end of a horse. Some of the people we are going to talk about in this chapter would have been much better off to have done what the old monk did.
Thigpen says the lesson of the story is this: "Our best armor in spiritual warfare may be a humble heart."2
To whatever degree it exists, pride hinders discernment, and without discernment, we accept counterfeits.
An "angel of light" in biblical terms is not an angel that appears in a burst of light or looks radiant or has a halo around his head. An angel of light, regardless of what he looks like, says, or does, is a spirit who presents a gospel other than what is found in the Bible.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel
of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be
transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be
according to their works.
—2 Corinthians n.14-15
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
The one real standard we have for knowing whether an angel is an angel of God or an angel of light is whether or not his words and actions match Scripture.
In the last chapter of this book I'll give you a checklist for judging angelic visits. But at this point let me say that an angel of God is most concerned with furthering God's purposes on earth. Therefore, any other purpose or result of an angelic visit should cause immediate suspicion of the presence of an angel of light instead.
One young woman told how she was depressed from a traumatic emotional experience and cried out for divine help. Later she woke and saw the beams of her bedroom ceiling glowing in the shape of a large golden cross. A voice said, "Fear ye not, I am the Lord."
Later she began to have psychic experiences and dreams about what she described as her past lives (reincarnation).3 The result of the woman's golden-cross vision was not a closer walk with God but an acceptance of "another gospel." Because of her experiences, she also started to give other people spiritual advice.
It is when we feel the most desperate that we must be on our guard against temptations from Satan. When this woman had an encounter with the supernatural, she accepted it as from God without judging the experience according to Scripture. I believe she was deceived by an angel of light.
What can protect us from being deceived? Bank tellers, learning to distinguish counterfeit money from the genuine item, do not major on the counterfeit. They study the real thing until they cannot accept a "dollar of light" as a real buck. In the same manner we need to study God's Word and learn His ways so we will recognize Satan's counterfeits.
In addition, there is no substitute for walking close enough to the Lord in prayer to be able to get what some Christians call "a check" or "a witness" from the Holy Spirit. These "red lights" and "green lights" tell us whether something we are hearing or reading is the real thing. Then we can investigate the matter further to find out what is right or wrong with it.
Angels of God often appear in the Bible as God's messengers.
Angels of light carry messages, too, but they are not from God. Their lies started two major religions that are practiced today: Islam and Mormonism.4
The Angel of Muhammed
A young camel driver who was a member of one of the most powerful Arabian nomadic tribes married a wealthy older woman in the late sixth century. He had traveled widely with his uncle's caravans into Syria and Egypt and was familiar with many different thoughts and religions.
His people worshiped many gods, but because of his cosmopolitan cultural outlook, he began to question current practices and beliefs. As the husband of a wealthy woman, he no longer had to work, and he employed his leisure time in meditating and thinking on matters of religion.
While meditating in a cave, Muhammed began to have violent seizures and frightening visions, allegedly from the angel Gabriel. His first thought was that these were demonic, but his wife persuaded him that they were divine and that he should listen to "the angel." Out of these revelations, which lasted twenty-two years until his death in A.D. 632 at about sixty-four years of age, came the youngest major world religion—Islam.
Islam combines elements of the Bible with Muhammed's own doctrines, which often contradict the Bible. Muslims say in these instances that the Bible was changed by men or inaccurately translated. From Judaism they take the idea of God as one God. The trinity makes Christianity polytheistic, they say. They see Jesus as a prophet like Muhammed, but only a prophet.
Today Islam is spreading rapidly due to its strong cultural and political base and lack of racial barriers. It is the second-largest world religion after Christianity.
George Otis Jr. wrote in ‘The Last of the Giants’.
As the world's fastest growing religion, Islam is predicted to double in size somewhere around the year 2020. If estimates hold up, Muslims will at that time number approximately 1.9 billion or 25 percent of humanity....
Muslims in the United States currently outnumber members of the Assemblies of God three to one, while in the U.K. there are now more followers of Allah than Methodists or Baptists combined. In France, Muslims represent the nation's second largest religious group, and boast more adherents than all Protestant denominations put together.5
Otis also says that Muslims are monitoring Christian activities. Given that fact, he points out that Christians should conduct themselves in a manner befitting Christ. At the same time, he says, we should recognize that "this daily observation extends to legions of unseen powers in the spiritual realm."6
A millennium after Muhammed and two continents away, another angel brought "revelation" for another new religion.
The Angel of Joseph Smith
In the early 1800s, a young man named Joseph Smith spent a great deal of time with his father looking for buried treasure and meditating on which religion was right, as did Muhammed. In the New England of that time, treasure hunters were considered "ne'er-do-wells." Their tools included shovels, pickaxes—and a "divining" tool.
In 1820 the fifteen-year-old boy related a vision in which both God the Father and God the Son told him that all churches were abominations. He said that he was called as a prophet to restore the true gospel. What developed over the years of Smith's pilgrimage through life, however, was not the true gospel restored but another gospel, as the apostle Paul warned against in Galatians 1:8:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
An angel of light (or angels of light) appeared to Joseph Smith in similar fashion as with Muhammed. Three years later another angel—or the same one in another guise—appeared calling himself Moroni. At times Smith said the angel's name was Nephi. This angel told Smith about some golden plates on which the "true gospel" was written.
Smith said he eventually found these buried in a hill near his home in Palmyra, New York. The writing, he said, was reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics. (Scholars say no such language exists.) He was able to translate them only by means of an angel-supplied pair of large spectacles called the Urim and Thummim (also the name of part of the breastplate of the Aaronic high priests in Exodus 28:30 and Leviticus 8:8).
In 1829 Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after saying he had received the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist in a vision. Most people who talk to John the Baptist or Napoleon end up being entertained at state expense. However, Smith had an angel backing him! Instead of being institutionalized, he was free to start one of the larger, and wealthier, pseudo-Christian religions in America. Today there are 8 million members in the Mormon Church worldwide, divided among six different sects that arose over various doctrinal disputes.
Mormon doctrines deny original sin and teach that the fall of man was not only good but necessary-—a doctrine similar to that of some of the occult groups. Because of this, there is no imputed sin nature in children, who are born in complete innocence. However, everyone eventually sins when they reach the age of accountability.
[OH WOW…. DO PROTESTANTS BELIEVE IN “IMPUTED” SIN” - THAT YOU ARE ALREADY A SINNER AT BIRTH? THEN THEY NEED TO READ THIS IN THE BIBLE…. “MOREOVER YOUR LITTLE ONES, WHICH YOU SAID SHOULD BE PREY, AND YOUR CHILDREN, WHICH IN THAT DAY HAD NO KNOWLEDGE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, THEY SHALL GO IN THITHER…..” (DEUT. 1:39). NOW THAT IS WHAT GOD SAYS, NOT THE MORMONS, AND IT SURE DOES NOT TEACH “IMPUTED SIN” THAT YOU ARE ARE BORN WITH; JESUS WAS BORN OF A WOMAN; HE SURE DID NOT HAVE “IMPUTED SIN” - Keith Hunt]
This "other gospel" has some beautiful but misleading advertisements on television upholding family values and talking about Jesus, even calling Him "Savior," which Mormons do not at all believe He is.
Angels in Other Religions
Angels made Muhammed and Joseph Smith famous. The same could be said of Emmanuel Swedenborg, whom we mentioned earlier in this book. Swedenborg communicated regularly with "angels" whom he thought were the spirits of dead human beings.
One of his books, Heaven and Hell, contains an extremely detailed description of what he claimed was heaven and its inhabitants. His descriptions relied heavily on information from angels, whom he says have all the attributes of man, except bodies. In fact, Swedenborg wrote that "angels are men" and live together in societies as men do on earth. They exist in a more perfect state than man, he said.
Each angel's house reflects the degree to which he has received truth from God, Swedenborg wrote. He said angels are sent to earth to protect us from all error in thought and desire.
Swedenborg also said angels were not created in the beginning but are gradually brought into existence as human beings return to the Father. Every angel and demon began life somewhere on earth or on another planet, he wrote. According to his angelology system, angels and demons evolve from the spirits of the dead.7
Another elaborate hierarchy of angels developed in the mystic stream of Judaism—the Kabbalah (or Cabbalah).
Writers say the Kabbalah would not be nearly as attractive to those interested in the occult or the esoteric without its pantheon of angels and demonic beings. There are many points of similarity between Kabbalah, Gnosticism, and Islamic Sufism (the mystic stream of Islam).8
Sophy Burnham says the Kabbalah guides believers with angelic assistance on the path to God through a series of heavenly halls and secret passwords by which they overcome demons on the way.
Is it not amazing how all of these angels of light know so much more about creation, heaven, and hell than the writers of the Old and New Testaments? Somewhere out there these angels and/or their boss are having a field day making up fantastic stories for the entrapment of gullible humans.
Parallel strands of doctrines run through all these religions. The same strands are in mythologies, Gnosticism, and so forth, and are distortions or perversions of basic Judeo-Christian truths.
Two basic differences from Christianity run through them all:
There is a God but not the one Christians believe in. They say God is a disinterested force (from Friedrich Hegel's "Absolute Idea" to Star Wars);9 God is in everything (pantheism and environmentalism); or God is a woman, the Earth Mother, Gaia (white magic).
There was a Jesus, but He was not who Christians think He was.
These angels of light have said Jesus really is Lucifer, and the one we think is the devil really is the Son of God—which is the underlying principle of Freemasonry, as well. In fact, the five points of fellowship in Freemasonry and the five points of fellowship in Mormonism are almost identical, which is not surprising, because Joseph Smith became a Mason in 1842, along with about twelve hundred other Mormons.10
I want to mention one more religion that started with an angel of light because it's different from the others in a key way.
The religion started about eight hundred years ago when a being that called itself the "Peacock Angel" appeared to a man in his twenties named Sheikh Adi Musafir, who lived in the Middle East. This angel of light called him to "proclaim the religion of truth to the world."11
Now there is a tribe in Northwestern Iraq named the Yezidi that worships the Peacock Angel. They are known as devil worshipers. The Peacock Angel is different from the "angels" of Islam and Mormonism in that he openly represents Satan instead of pretending to be a good angel of God.
One of the passages from the book that Musafir wrote describes other men in history who received the Peacock Angel:
King Ahab and Amran were of us, so that they used to call the God
of Ahab Beelzebub We had a king in Babel (Babylon) whose
name was Nebuchadnezzar….And Ahasuerus in Persia.12
In this chapter we looked at some angels of light and the monumental effect they have had on the history of mankind through their followers. However, we should remember not to throw out truth because it has been perverted, corrupted, or obscured.
There are credible accounts of angels who have appeared to people in recent years as guardians, messengers, or protectors, and who operated in line with biblical patterns. Some of these are in the following chapters.
Angelic Encounters in Modern Times
There is an ocean of difference between that which is “extra- biblical” and that which is unbiblical. "Extra-biblical” is a yellow light that encourages passage with caution; unbiblical is a red light that requires travellers to halt in the name of the law and common sense.1
—George Otis Jr.
The subject of angels is one of several in the late twentieth century that requires spiritual common sense. George Otis Jr. gives good advice for these areas of modern Christian living that are not specifically spelled out in the Bible.
* If something—such as a foundational teaching—definitely is in the Word of God, that is a green-light doctrine or practice.
* If something is prohibited or obviously against the Word of God, such as angel-inspired religions without Jesus, then we have a red light and should stop.
* If something is not specifically a go or a stop, then we may proceed with caution until we find a definite answer.
Extra-biblical does not mean something added to the Bible but something that may fit into Bible principles and patterns even though it may not be specifically spelled out in Scripture.
For example, nowhere in the Bible do we have information about what car to buy, whether or not to use computers, or whether television is right or wrong. All of these things are extra-biblical. However, they are not unbiblical.
When God's ways are examined through the principles found in the Bible, guidelines about extra-biblical things can be found. For example, the number-one principle for any Christian is to do everything to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). If something does not bring God glory or will bring shame to His name, then we should not have it or do it.
The second most important principle is to check your motives or attitudes. The reason we want something or want to do something is just as important as whatever it is we desire.
Cults are formed just as much from sloppy thinking as they are from angels of light.
The problem with many Christians is that they leave their brains at the altar with their sins.
Many think they are being spiritual by operating thereafter on emotions, or how they feel about something.
Right thinking is not to lay aside the mind but to have it renewed by meditating on and studying the Word of God (Rom. 12:2). The mind is like the software in a computer, which is the brain. Without a functioning mind, our brains could not operate any more than a computer could operate without software.
Our minds contain the sum total of our knowledge. And knowledge is comprised of everything we have heard, seen, or learned since we were in our mothers' wombs.
Knowledge gained from the world is what has to be transformed by knowledge from the Word of God.
As Christians, we don't stop thinking. Our way of thinking is to be renewed through the "spirit" of our minds (Eph. 4:23).
We must measure everything by God's Word, not by how we feel or even how we think. For example, when movies were first invented, many Christians automatically were against them as being "of the devil." The same thing happened with radio and television.
Christians who first saw the potential of radio, television, and films for ministry were opposed and even persecuted by the majority of Christians. For that reason, it took the church about fifty years to catch up with the world in the use of these media.
The use of media was not unbiblical, but it was extra-biblical. Movies, television, and radio were simply new ways of communicating, and the Bible makes no objection to communication.
But some of the angel stories in the many books now on the market are obviously unbiblical and should be set aside immediately. These include:
* Angels who tell people, 'You are the Christ."
* Angels who tell people they can be saved by their works.
* Angels who say that we have to be born again and again to work out karma.
* Angels who say that there is no hell and that everything after death is all sweetness and light—even if these angels are seen during out-of-body experiences.
* Angels who appear in the form of animals or birds.
* Angels who bring "new revelation" contradictory to the Bible—not just a deeper, expanded interpretation but added doctrines not previously mentioned.
The stories in this book have been examined closely and prayerfully to make sure they do not contain any unbiblical elements. Many of these encounters happened to me, to someone I know, or to people in churches where I have ministered and whose pastors vouch for their Christian lives and integrity. However, none of these stories directly parallel stories of angelic intervention in Scripture, so they are extra-biblical. Therefore, it is appropriate to judge and test them.
Angel Protects a Testimony
Anneice West, who helps with counseling at Agape Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, told of seeing angels several years ago. It happened at a Christmas party in 1990 when she was working with a ministry outreach to the homeless and needy.
During the party and ministry staff meeting, one of the staffers shared how he had felt strongly impressed one day to minister to a man on the street. He had gone out of his way to talk to this man and ask him how he was doing.
The man was not doing well at all. In fact, he was considering suicide. He was not attending church anywhere, so the staffer could not send him to a pastor. Instead he talked to the man and encouraged him to turn his life over to God. Then he prayed with him.
Later the staffer saw the man again, who told him it was "phenomenal" how things in his life had turned around since he had given his life to the Lord. Problems and pressures that had seemed insurmountable were resolved. The man was so thankful that someone had taken the time to stop and ask how he was.
West said that while she was listening to this story, she suddenly saw an angel standing behind the man's chair. He was about six feet tall with powerful wings that were folded by his sides and reached all the way down to his ankles. West wrote:
[ANGELS DO NOT HAVE WINGS….. THIS WAS NOT FROM GOD, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN IF YOU HELP SOMEONE IN WORD OR DEED, AND THEY ACCEPT JESUS AS SAVIOR, THAT GOD CAN NOT BLESS THEM, AND HELP THEM FIND A BETTER LIFE….. FOR SURELY THE LORD CAN DO SO - Keith Hunt]
Angels Rejoice During Christian Worship
Sharon Abrams, a physician's wife who also attends Agape Church, told of seeing two angels during a church service. The angels were hovering over the congregation with their arms outstretched. They were light-skinned and had light-colored hair, and they stood seven or eight feet tall. Abrams wrote:
Their faces were broad with high cheekbones and beautiful smiles. They looked like men except they did not have beards. There was an innocence to their faces, and the joy of their expressions was wonderful. They did not wear shoes, but wore long white gowns with gold braid. I cannot remember exactly where the braid was located on the gowns. I knew they were in the service because of our praise and worship …. because Jesus was being lifted up and adored. I sensed there were many more beings present in the auditorium, but I was only able to see those two.2
[GOD IS NOT INTO JUST SENDING ANGELS TO PROTESTANT CHURCHES OR CATHOLIC CHURCHES….. BUT THE DECEPTIVE FORCES OF THE DECEITFUL DEMONIC WORLD SURE ARE - Keith Hunt]
Marilyn Cappo of Louisville Covenant Church in Kentucky says she has seen angels on a number of occasions. She reported seeing three angels dancing on the roof of a house where a home group was meeting. One of them was playing something like a small harp, perhaps a lyre. Later, during a church morning worship service, she saw a nine-foot angel standing behind the worship leader. Most recently, she said she has seen two angels standing on the front platform of her church during several different services. She described them this way:
They are a little over six feet tall and dressed in white. They do not speak but raise their wings when songs are sung of direct praise to the Father. They stand to the left of the pulpit, watching the congregation, and look at us expectantly. I have seen them off and on over a period of months and have prayed often to understand their purpose and mission at our church. One morning one of them walked over behind the pastor and spread his wings as our pastor was making declarative statements about God to us. The angels appear to be waiting for us to do something and always watch intently.
[ANGELS DO NOT HAVE WINGS; THERE IS NO WORD IN THE BIBLE ABOUT THEM BEING DRESSED IN WHITE, A LITTLE OVER 6 FEET TALL OR 9 FEET TALL, OR ANY SPECIFIC HEIGHT…… PROTESTANT CHURCHES AND CATHOLIC ALSO, CAN BE FULL OF DECEPTIVE FORCES APPEARING AS IF ANGELS OF LIGHT FROM GOD - Keith Hunt]
Patsy Burton of Wethersfield, Essex, in England, wrote of hearing angels singing during a church service. She said the "clarity, pitch, and harmony was absolutely incredible. In fact, there are no words to describe how they sounded."
[NOPE DOUBT IT VERY MUCH….. THE IMAGINATION OF SOME PEOPLE AT TIMES, CAN BE VERY DECEPTIVE - Keith Hunt]
In Somewhere Angels, one of the best books that I have found on angels, author Larry Libby wrote about a worship meeting in Alaska.
Outside, the winter wind moaned and hissed against the frosted church windows. But inside the little church, people were warm and happy and singing song after song of praise to God... something mysterious and wonderful happened that icy, starlit night. After one last praise song... people stopped singing. The musicians put down their instruments. But somehow, the singing kept going. Everyone heard it. The beautiful praise music kept rolling on and on for a little while, like a long, silvery echo.3
[AGAIN IF A PROTESTANT OR CATHOLIC CHURCH, I DOUBT IT WAS FROM GOD….BUT FROM THE GREAT DECEIVER. I MEAN TO HAVE ANGELS SO-CALLED, WILL CERTAINLY KEEP YOU BELIEVING YOUR CHURCH IS A TRUE CHURCH OF GOD, WHEN IT JUST IS NOT SO - Keith Hunt]
Angels Protect a Home During a Storm
Dawn Tallent told of angelic protection during a storm.
My encounter occurred in 1976 when we lived in Missouri. It was the wee hours of the morning, and we had been having severe weather. We lived in a mobile home, and I was very fearful of storms. I remember waking up to a loud noise outside our bedroom window that sounded like a freight train. The window was shaking, and the whole house seemed to be moving. My husband was sound asleep next to me, but I was too scared to move or even wake him up. I began to pray fervently, asking God to spare my home and family because I knew that if He did not intervene, tragedy would hit. In that moment the Lord began to speak peace to me. I felt He wanted me to get up and look out the window so He could show me something. I eased my way up to the window and pulled open the curtains. To my surprise and shock, I saw a very bright light and figures of tall, broad-shouldered beings dressed in long, white robes. They had strong arms and hands and were holding hands, standing with their backs to the wind and their faces toward me. However, I could not see their faces clearly because they were so bright. At that moment I knew that angels were encompassing the mobile home and us. I sat on the bed, just gazing out of the window in awe for about fifteen minutes. All fear left, and I felt safe and secure. From that day on, whenever a storm comes my way, I know strong angels are there to protect me.
[COULD BE POSSIBLE THAT GOD ANSWERED HER PRAYER WITH PROTECTION FROM THE STORM BY HEAVENLY BEINGS OF SOME KIND - Keith Hunt]
Angels Comfort an Evangelist
Joseph Morris of Mobile, Alabama, said the first time he saw an angel was in 1986 when he was crusade director for an evangelistic ministry and had some pressing financial needs.
He was in a hotel when an angel suddenly appeared in his room. Morris says the angel was about eight feet tall, masculine, had long hair down to his shoulders and was wearing a white robe. He appeared to be very strong and looked at him intently and, somehow, very businesslike.
At first Morris was shocked, but then somehow he "knew" the angel was there to hear him speak forth God's promise about his needs.
So Morris said, "My God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (see Philippians 4:19), and the angel disappeared. Within a few days, Morris said, the finances were supplied.
A year later, Morris was praying at home one evening, but he was concerned about being away from his wife and family so much at other times. His wife was asleep in the bedroom when an angel walked into the living room where Morris was praying.
The angel said, "I was sent from the throne of God to tell you that I am to guard your wife and children and keep peace in your family." Then he disappeared.
"Thank God for His comfort at a time when I had to be away from home so much," Morris said.
[AND OF COURSE IF THIS MAN WAS A PROTESTANT OR CATHOLIC PRIEST, THEY WOULD BE VERY CERTAIN THEY HAD THE TRUTH AND WERE LIVING THE TRUTH….. SO IS THE DECEPTION OF THE FALSE ANGELS OF LIGHT. IF YOU ARE HAVING PHYSICAL LIVING PROBLEMS LIKE FINANCES; IF YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN YOU WANT PROTECTED; AND YOU PRAY FOR THIS, SELDOM, VERY SELDOM INDEED, DOES GOD ANSWER IN THE POSITIVE, BY SENDING YOU AN ANGEL, FOR SUCH THINGS THAT ARE NOT LIFE AND DEATH - Keith Hunt]
Angel Appears in a Vision
John Bosman, senior pastor of Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Lake Charles, Indiana, told me about a vision that he had during a time of prayer.
A bright light filled the room, and suddenly before my eyes the sanctuary of my church appeared (which seats about 1,500 people). At that same moment, I became aware that the sanctuary was full of people, and there was a huge angel standing in the middle of it. His shoulders and head seemed to be far above the balcony. The angel showed him how some people in the church were full of God's anointing, while others were just full of religion. Those with the anointing spread life and sweetness, symbolized by honey bees, while those with religion carried death, like flies. It was a powerful call for discernment and gave him insight for pastoring.
[ANGELS IN THE BIBLE ARE NEVER PICTURED AS SOME HUGE MASSIVE PERSON OR FIGURE….. SUCH VISIONS WOULD SURE MAKE YOU FEEL YOUR PROTESTANT OR CATHOLIC CHURCH IS “OF GOD” WHEN IT IS JUST NOT SO - Keith Hunt]
Angels Rescue Man Stranded in Desert
A man named Bob Leech sent a story to my ministry's office in Great Britain about what he believes was angelic assistance rendered to him in Saudi Arabia. It occurred in 1977 (long before the Gulf War).
Leech was driving an American-made sedan, not a four-wheel-drive vehicle, from a construction camp to Dhahran on a seldom-used road with no nearby towns or villages.
At about 1:00 p.m., as the temperature soared to 120 degrees, Leech's vehicle hit a dip in the road that threw his car into soft sand. Immediately he was stuck, and for the first time in all his desert traveling, he had no water with him. Trying to shovel the vehicle free only caused sand to slide in around the wheels. Leech knew that if he started out across the desert on foot, his chances of rescue were almost zero. The only recourse was to sit in the car and wait for passersby—if any. He had been there for about an hour when suddenly three men who looked like Bedouins appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Leech wrote:
I had not seen them approach, although I had been keeping a constant lookout for the past hour. They were dressed as you might think the shepherds in the Bible might have looked. We greeted one another in Arabic, and they handed me a goatskin bag of water. That was the coolest water I ever tasted! They helped to move the car by vigorously bouncing it as I reversed onto the harder surface at the side of the road. I thanked them and got into the car. I was at an angle and needed to complete my reverse, straighten up, and then continue. As I reversed and turned back onto the asphalt, I intended to wave one last time—but there was no one there. The surrounding area was completely flat for miles, and there was no sign of them. I never saw them come, and I never saw them go. Every time I think about, or relate, this event, I am overwhelmed by the understanding that God had His hand upon me even before I had a personal relationship with Him.
[YES NOW THAT COULD BE VERY TRUE….. ANGELS FROM GOD TO HELP SAVE YOUR LIFE - LOOKING LIKE ORDINARY MEN OF THE LOCALITY - Keith Hunt]
Goodness and Mercy—God's Special Agents in the Middle East
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head
with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in
the house of the Lord for ever.
—David in Psalm 23;4–6
Back in the late 1970s when I traveled with my music group Living Sound, I met Pastor Roland Buck. Pastor Buck shared with me some of his private conversations with angels. At first, I was skeptical, but then he told me specific information about the moment in time when I received my calling to full-time ministry (some of which I will share with you later in chapter nineteen). Nobody but God Himself could have known how I was feeling at that moment. Now Pastor Buck had my attention. Little did I know then how much his words would impact my life and my ministry almost thirty years later.
The Bible tells us that we are to test all things. I have never shared publicly what the angels said to Roland Buck about my ministry—until now. Those words were spoken almost three decades ago, and I think that, as the saying goes, "the proof is in the pudding."
Prophetic Words From the Father
The late Roland Buck shared with me a journal entry that he had written concerning a visitation with angels. The particular date in his journal was April 29, 1979. This is what the angel said:
As Terry Law was concerned about his future and the seeming peril of his work in darkened countries, he asked if I was permitted to inquire of God concerning these things. Normally questions seem so trivial to ask, but God somehow let me know that it was all right. Here was His answer: Terry Law has been chosen and prepared by God for a very special work, that of being in the forefront of his work in penetrating darkened countries with His life-giving light. The Father has interwoven a demanding urgency into all areas of his life. He has placed within him a persistence that refuses denial and a courage that accepts no defeat. God has opened to him long-closed doors and has accompanied him by His Spirit. He is a chosen messenger. The Father has given him guidance and protection. He has provided for him in ways he has not known by His Spirit by men and by angels of the Lord.
[THIS IS NO SURPRISE TO ME, AND CERTAINLY DOES NOT PROVE THIS SO-CALLED PROPHECY, CAME FROM GOD; SATAN AND HIS DEMONIC FORCES CAN ALSO REPRODUCE THIS KIND OF THING. PROTESTANTS, ESPECIALLY THE “FUNDAMENTALS” AND CATHOLIC CHURCH, ALL BELIEVE THEY ARE INSPIRED OF GOD, AND PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. TO HAVE CERTAIN “MIRACLES” OR “PROPHECY” THAT COMES TRUE, IS FOR THEM A VALIDATION THEY ARE “WITH GOD” WHEN THE REALITY IS THEY ARE NOT. I ONCE HAD A PHONE CALL FROM A GUY AFTER I PUT A LARGE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE ABOUT THE TRUE 7TH DAY SABBATH, IN THE LOCAL PAPER. HE ASKED ME IF I BELIEVED IN THE “GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT” AND I SAID I DID. HE THEN WENT ON TO SAY HE SPOKE IN TONGUES, HENCE HE HAD THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT, AND DID NOT OBSERVE THE TRUE 7TH DAY SABBATH. SO FOR HIM THIS WAS PROOF HE FIRST HAD THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND SECONDLY, DID NOT HAVE TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH. IT NEVER DAWNED ON HIM TO THINK THE “SPIRIT” WHICH HE HAD MAY HAVE COME FROM THE DEMONIC FORCES, DECEIVING HIM INTO ALL THE DECEPTION HE HAD - Keith Hunt]
I remember some of my personal conversations with Pastor Buck in which he talked about the different kinds of angels. He talked about ministering angels who live among people. They ride in our cars, live in our homes, and are camped about us all the time. (See Psalm 34:7.) Their orders from God are to take care of us.
1. He commented that there are more angels on the earth than there are human beings. He talked about worship angels. These are the angels with six wings, and they dwell in the presence of the Lord. (See Isaiah 6:2-3; Revelation 4:8-9.)
2. He went on to speak about warring angels, whose job it is to defend God's purposes against the attacks of the enemy. Michael is the archangel of all the warring angels (Daniel 10:13).
3. He spoke finally about God's special forces, which are the messenger angels. Gabriel is the archangel of the messenger angels, and one of his chief purposes is in the unfolding of God's plan and the closing of one chapter of time and the opening of another. (See Daniel 9:20-23; Luke 1:19, 26.)
[VERY TRUE THERE ARE SUCH ANGELS - Keith Hunt]
I was overwhelmed, to say the least, when Pastor Buck told me that God had assigned two bands of angels to travel with my music group Living Sound when we ventured into the darkened countries. He said a band of warrior angels went in before us to prepare the way and to protect us. Then he said when we went into darkened countries, there was a band of messenger angels that ministered with us under the power of the Holy Spirit.
[PROBABLY MORE LIKE SATANIC FORCES…… SAFE-GUARDING THEIR OWN. ALL FUNDAMENTAL CHURCHES AND GROUPS BELIEVE THEY ARE OF GOD WITH HIS SPIRIT, HENCE ANY KIND OF “PROTECTION” AND “NEAR CALLS” OF ADVERSITY, WOULD AUTOMATICALLY SIGNAL TO THEM THAT GOD’S ANGELS ARE SERVING THEM. ACTUALLY A LOT OF THE “CLOSE CALLS” OF ADVERSITY ARE JUST PLAIN “LUCK” OF THE THROWING OF THE DICE, HOW IT FALLS. MANY IN THE UN-CONVERTED WORLD ARE IN THE SAME GAME…..IT’S JUST AS THE DICE LAND. WISE KING SOLOMON PUT IT AS “TIME AND CHANCE” CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE. SO HOW SOME THINGS PLAY OUT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY TEACH THAT YOUR ON GOD’S SIDE IN YOUR THEOLOGY; JUST AS THE FELLOW TELLING ME HE HAD GOD’S SPIRIT AS HE SPOKE IN TONGUES, AND DID NOT OBSERVE THE SABBATH COMMANDMENT OF THE GREAT TEN COMMANDMENTS - Keith Hunt]
The stories I'm about to share with you in this chapter, I believe, are powerful illustrations of words that were spoken almost twenty-seven years later to the date at the time of this writing. You be the judge and see what you think.
"... I Will Fear No Evil"
I was in Baghdad, Iraq, in the second week of December 2003. My traveling companions and I had just traveled over six hundred miles across the deserts of Jordan and Iraq in order to arrive in Baghdad. At times we were traveling at speeds of up to one hundred miles an hour through the Sunni Triangle, one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq, past the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. They are famous to this day for their violence. We traveled through the night and arrived early the next morning. We were exhausted and went to our hotel in Baghdad.
About two o'clock in the afternoon, I was sleeping in my bedroom, totally exhausted, when the sound of gunfire awoke me. I jumped from my bed and rushed to the window, wondering if there was a revolution taking place in the city.
I looked down into the courtyard of the hotel, and I saw grown men standing with AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles, firing them into the air, and dancing wildly. Then I saw others across the square doing the same thing. They didn't seem to be angry; they seemed to be happy about something.
I pulled on my clothes and rushed downstairs to the hotel lobby. One of my Arab friends, who is an evangelist in the Middle East, had come with us on the trip into Baghdad, and he was standing in the lobby watching a television screen. The lobby was jammed with people who were talking excitedly in the Arabic language.
He turned and looked at me with wonderment on his face and said, "I think they've just captured Saddam Hussein." I couldn't believe my ears. The war with Iraq had begun on March 19, 2003, and was declared to be over by President Bush on May 1, 2003.
American forces had tried to pinpoint the location of Saddam Hussein. They had tried to destroy him with various bombing attacks, all of which had failed. For months our troops had been looking for him, following hundreds of leads.
I knew that the people of Iraq would never be totally free until Saddam Hussein had been captured, and now here it was. I was in Baghdad when the event occurred.
At three o'clock on the television screen, Paul Bremmer, the American administrator in Iraq, came on national Iraqi television, looked at the cameras, and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've got him!" I was shocked to realize that Saddam was found just a few miles from where we were situated. And then followed the pictures of the man who had terrorized the civilized world, captured in a spider hole outside of his hometown of Tikrit.
His head was straggly, his hair disheveled. Medical personnel were looking in his ears with medical instruments, compressing his tongue, and making him say, "Ahhh." The entire world gazed in amazement. It was one of those moments in your life that you never forget. The day was December 13, 2003.
I went to church that Sunday night, and I could see the relief etched on the faces of the people as they worshiped God. One brother told me that it was the greatest day of his life, second only to the day he received Christ as his Savior.
We were in the country to do ministry business and would be heading back to Amman, Jordan, a couple of days later. The airport in Baghdad had been put out of commission because of the war, so it was impossible to fly out of the country. The only transportation available was Suburban Chevrolet vehicles painted white to reflect the desert heat.
I was traveling with my associate, Joel Vesanen, and an Arab friend from Amman named Marwan. We were physically and emotionally exhausted because of the drama and danger in which we had been living.
We met in the hotel lobby at 3:30 in the morning and gathered our luggage. I looked out the door and realized that Baghdad was blanketed in a heavy fog. We left at about 4:30 for our journey across the desert of Iraq. It was dangerous driving through the streets of Baghdad because the fog was so intense.
There's something about the humming noise of tires on the highway that puts me to sleep. I don't know how many millions of miles I have traveled over land in the last forty years. I know I've logged about six million air miles on American Airlines alone. As we left the outskirts of Baghdad, I fell into a deep sleep. I was sitting in the front seat beside the Arab driver, and I had slumped down in the seat with my knees up against the dashboard of the automobile. I was vaguely aware of the fact that he was driving at a rapid speed. But I was so bone weary that I didn't think a whole lot about it.
Suddenly, we crashed broadside into another vehicle. The noise of squealing tires skidding across the pavement and a loud curse from the Arab driver jolted me from a deep sleep. My first thought was, This is a terrorist attack! If there's one spot of danger on the highway between Baghdad and the border of Jordan, it is outside the city of Fallujah, which, for some time now, has been a center for al-Qaeda terrorism.
The pain from my knees being jammed into the dashboard was excruciating. At first I didn't know if I was going to be able to move my legs, but I climbed out of the vehicle into the fog, waiting for terrorists carrying machine guns to appear. I limped back and forth alongside the vehicle, which was a total wreck. I had blood on my left knee, but I was amazed that I could still move my legs.
At that very moment, the peace of God settled over my spirit. I remembered the words of Pastor Buck telling me that God had assigned warrior angels to protect us. I knew my legs were going to be all right, even though I was suffering temporary pain.
The terrorists did not show up; it was a traffic accident. It was about six in the morning, and dawn was breaking. All I remember is the squeal of tires skidding across the pavement, a loud curse from the Arab driver, the jolt from the impact of one vehicle hitting another, and the instant pain in my knees.
Apparently, another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction had run out of gas. It was a four-lane highway divided by a median. The travellers in the other vehicle had pushed their car across the median into our lane of traffic. Not being able to see them in the fog, our driver had no warning at all and hit the front quarter panel of their car broadside at about eighty miles an hour. I was startled when Joel later told me that we were traveling at speeds between eighty and one hundred miles an hour—in the middle of the fog.
While our driver was fighting with the other driver on the highway, we removed our suitcases from the vehicle and stood waiting to hitch a ride with another driver. About fifteen minutes later another driver with an empty vehicle stopped and picked us up, and we were on our way to Amman. We arrived safely, although a bit shaken, but very much thankful for the protection of the Lord's angels.
One of my favorite psalms came to mind, Psalm 91:11, which says, "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone" (NKJV) .
Dr. Billy Graham, observing the plural in this text, included in his book about angels that each believer must have at least two angels whose assigned duty is to protect him or her. I believe Dr. Graham is accurate in that interpretation.
When I recount this story to people in my travels around the world, I often say in a humorous manner, "I have two angels that follow me. Their job is to look out for me, and I even know their names. One of them is called Goodness, and the other is called Mercy."
David wrote about this in Psalm 23:6, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
If I have ever sensed the presence of angels in my life, I sensed them that day on the highway outside the city of Fallujah in Iraq………..
And I can promise you that I will continue to do God's work in the most dangerous areas of our world because I am protected by the ministry of God's guardian angels.
YOU’LL NOTICE HIS LAST SENTENCE…… A VERY, I WOULD SAY OVER CONFIDENT - A BOASTING CONFIDENT - ATTITUDE - I CAN GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD NO MATTER HOW DANGEROUS IT IS, BECAUSE I’M PROTECTED BY GOD’S ANGELS….. A MORE “DO NOT TEMPT THE LORD” AS YOU CAN GET!!
SOME “LUCK” SOME “FAlLING OF THE DICE GOOD FOR YOU” SOME “TIME AND CHANCE” HAPPENING FOR THE POSITIVE FOR YOU, SHOULD NEVER GIVE YOU A BOASTFUL VAIN CONFIDENCE, WHERE YOU ARE NOW IN THE REALM OF TEMPTING GOD, AS JESUS PUT IT.
HAVING GUARDIAN ANGELS IS A SUBJECT WE KNOW VERY VERY LITTLE ABOUT, IT CERTAINLY IS NOT EXPOUNDED FOR US IN THE SCRIPTURES OF THE BIBLE IN ANY DETAIL; THERE ARE MANY SIDES TO IT, SIDES WE ARE NOT INSTRUCTED IN FROM THE PAGES OF THE BIBLE.
ONE EXAMPLE SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO GET MY POINT ACROSS:
I WAS ALREADY AT A CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES ONE YEAR. ON THE SECOND DAY DURING ANNOUNCEMENTS, WAS A SAD ANNOUNCEMENT; A FAMILY OF 4 - FATHER, MOTHER, TWO CHILDREN, WERE TRAVELLING TO BE WITH US ALL; THEY WERE IN A HEAD-ON CRASH…… ALL FOUR OF OUR BRETHREN WERE KILLED!
TIME AND CHANCE…… AS SOLOMON SAID, CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE.
WHERE WERE THE GUARDIAN ANGELS IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE…. IF WE HAVE TWO EACH, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN 8 ANGELS, THAT DID NOT STEP IN TO SAVE ONE OF THOSE LIVES….THEY WERE ALL KILLED.
OH THE SILLY, VAIN, CONCEITED, BOASTFUL, WRITINGS OF MEN, WHO CAN SAY, “I WILL CONTINUE TO DO GOD’S WORK IN THE MOST DANGEROUS AREAS OF THE WORLD, BECAUSE I AM PROTECTED BY THE MINISTRY OF GOD’S GUARDIAN ANGELS.”
IT IS WRITTEN, “YOU SHALL NOT TEMPT THE LORD YOUR GOD!”
Keith Hunt..... ALL black lettering is mine for emphasis throughout this study