From the book “THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS”
by Terry Law
I saw an angel in white—very luminous—hovering in a corner of the room. He seemed to stand in the air and was actually taller than the room. Suddenly, I felt a peace come over me and a great comfort. I knew the Lord was still watching over me, even though my mother had gone to heaven to be with Him.
[WE SEE LATER THIS WAS A YOUNG BOY WHO NEEDED COMFORT, MAYBE HE DID SEE IN HIS MINDS-EYE THIS VISION, AS HE WAS COMFORTED. CERTAINLY GOD CAN COMFORT CHILDREN AS NEEDED IN DIFFERENT WAYS - Keith Hunt]
One of the most common questions I hear about angels is this: Do I have a guardian angel? One poll showed that 46 percent of Americans believe they have guardian angels.
The idea of guardian angels comes from two passages in the Bible. One is in Matthew 18:10 where Jesus said the angels of little children always behold the face of the Father in heaven. The other is in Acts 12 when the believers praying for Peter's release thought his angel had arrived unexpectedly at their door—not Peter himself.
Whether or not everyone has a guardian angel and whether or not only Christians have them is a subject on which theologians are divided. Personally, I believe everyone has a guardian angel assigned at birth. Otherwise it would seem capricious for God to pick and choose who has one and who does not. Many unbelievers have reported being rescued from danger by angels; however, this is not specifically spelled out in the Bible.
Early church fathers who generally accepted the concept of guardian angels include Origen, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Basil, Cyril of Alexandria, and Ambrose. Some of them thought that only Christians have guardian angels while others thought that angels are assigned to children and relieved of duty when the children commit "mortal sins."
[THE PROBLEM WITH THE IDEA THAT EVERYONE HAS AN ANGEL/S IS WHAT IS GOING ON WHEN SOMEONE OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WRONG AND RIGHT, DECIDES TO LIVE A LIFE OF WRONG, I.E. DRUG TAKER; DRUG DEALER; A RAPIST; SERIAL KILLER; KIDNAPPER OF CHILDREN; MOLESTING OF CHILDREN; AND THE LIKE IN A WAY OF LIFE. WHAT THEN IS THE ANGEL OF SUCH PEOPLE DOING? ARE THEY JUST STANDING BY AND WATCHING? FOR ME IT IS NOT LOGICAL, WITH WHAT I’VE JUST SAID, TO HAVE AN ANGEL FOR EVERY PERSON ON EARTH WHILE THEY LIVE IN SUCH A HORRID LIFE-STYLE. IT MAY BE LOGICAL FOR ALL CHRISTIANS TO HAVE AN ANGEL/S, EVEN THEN SOME THINGS WOULD BE LIMITED FOR THEM, LIKE AS I GAVE EARLIER, ABOUT A CHRISTIAN FAMILY OF FOUR, GOING TO OBSERVE THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES, AND WERE ALL KILLED IN A HEAD-ON CRASH ON THE HIGHWAY - OBVIOUSLY NO ANGELS PREVENTED THIS FROM HAPPENING….. ONCE AGAIN AS SOLOMON SAID, “TIME AND CHANCE FOR ANYONE.” YES THE SUBJECT CAN GET BEYOND OUR HUMAN MIND, AS HOW IT IS ALL WORKING; PAUL SAID WE OFTEN LOOK THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY - Keith Hunt]
This doctrine of guardian angels is extended by some to include not only people but also nations, churches, and other groups. Certainly this would mean "an innumerable company" of angels must exist.
[AGAIN THERE ARE LIMITS IF THIS IS TRUE. A NUMBER OF TIMES IN THE PAST 20 YEARS, THERE HAVE BEEN KILLINGS DURING CHURCH SERVICES BY A GUN-MAN; THE RECENT ONE WAS IN NOVEMBER 2017 AS I WRITE….. ANGELS DID NOT STOP IT FROM HAPPENING, OR SOMEHOW PROTECTED THE CHURCH PEOPLE…..AH INDEED WE LOOK THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY - Keith Hunt]
Adler noted that if each human being is assigned a personal angel, and if they are drawn from heaven's lowest rank, then the population of heaven or the number of heavenly beings must exceed Earth's population.2
[ALL HUMAN SPECULATION THAT CANNOT BE ANSWERED IN THIS LIFE. USELESS TO TRY; IT IS NOT FOR US HUMANS TO KNOW - Keith Hunt]
Some believe that guardian angels are involved in escorting the righteous dead to their final destination. Marilyn Hickey believes her guardian angel strengthened and encouraged her when her father died.
It was then a light and warmth came into the room. With fascination I watched as it moved toward me. I felt the touch of the light and warmth as it permeated my own chest. Instantly, my grief disappeared, and I realized that my guardian angel had touched me. I knew then, as never before, that not only had Jesus carried my sins, but He had also carried my griefs and sorrows. I fell asleep again, but this time, it was in peace and with an indescribable joy. Once more that night, I felt the same angelic touch.3
[GOD COULD INDEED DO SUCH A THING, SO THIS COULD HAVE COME FROM GOD FOR THIS LADY - Keith Hunt]
The comfort brought by this visitation dispelled her grief and depression. She pointed out that an angel ministered to Elijah when he became depressed over the threats of Jezebel. Apparently angels can minister to our emotional and mental health as well as our physical well-being.
[YES INDEED VERY TRUE - Keith Hunt]
Hickey adds, "Depression is one of Satan's tools to take our eyes off the promises of God and to put them onto the circumstances around us."
While working on the original version of this book I had made a ministry trip with my two sons into my native Canada. One night we camped out with relatives, and as we sat around the campfire, they asked me about angels. I shared some of the stories and facts from my research.
As we left the group, my oldest son, Scot, said, "Dad, can I tell you something?"
He shared an incident that he had never told me about, some-thing that happened in 1982 on the night his mother was killed in an automobile accident. I was preaching in England when Jan was killed. After the accident, Gordon and Stella Calmeyer, friends of ours, took my three children, who weren't with me, into their home until I could get back to the United States.
At that time, the Calmeyers lived near Oral Roberts University, adjacent to the home of Richard and Lindsay Roberts. Scot was eight years old at the time.
He told me of being put to bed about 10:00 p.m. at the Calmeyers, feeling so empty, alone, and terrified. His mother was gone, and his father was preaching somewhere in England. He could not go to sleep, so he lay there crying quietly for hours. He said that at about 2:00 a.m., Lindsay Roberts came over to the Calmeyers' home and into Scot's room. Apparently she had been impressed by the Holy Spirit to check on him.
She sat down by the bed and prayed for Scot to have peace and for the Holy Spirit to comfort him. She also prayed that God would have Scot's guardian angel watch over him, especially now that his mother was gone.
Scot said, "Dad, after she got up and left, I saw an angel in white—very luminous—hovering in a corner of the room. He seemed to stand in the air and was actually taller than the room. Suddenly, I felt a peace come over me and a great comfort. I knew the Lord was still watching over me, even though my mother had gone to heaven to be with Him."
[FOR SURE GOD CARES FOR CHILDREN; HE COULD WELL HAVE GIVEN THIS VISION IN THE MIND’S EYE TO A CHILD, TO ANSWER THE PRAYER, AND GIVE THE LAD COMFORT - Keith Hunt]
In all the years since then—and Scot is now a grown man—he had never told me or anyone else of that incident. I thank the Lord so much for letting a little boy see his angel and be comforted after he had just lost his mother.
Protected in a Train Wreck
I was cofounder of the Living Sound musical ministry team at Oral Roberts University in 1969, and we launched into a worldwide ministry the following year. Our ministry had been very successful in Eastern Europe where the Lord had given us a specific call to take the gospel behind the Iron Curtain.
In 1974 Yugoslavia was still a nonaligned country but was considered a part of the communist world under the dictatorship of Tito. At that point we had two ministry teams and had been working in Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in Zagreb, in northern Yugoslavia.
I had to get back to the states to minister at the Full Gospel Business Men's convention in St. Louis, and it was impossible to get a plane out of Zagreb. Therefore, I traveled by train through, the high mountains of northern Yugoslavia and southern Austria to Vienna. I had been fortunate enough to get a sleeper car for the eighteen-hour journey. At about 1:00 a.m., I sensed a presence in my room that awakened me. I had been lying on the edge of the bed about a foot away from the wall in my sleeper car.
Suddenly, I felt I should change my position on the bed and put my back against the wall. About thirty seconds after I did that, we had a head-on collision with another train, after a tremendous, grinding crash, our train came to a halt. There is no question that I would have been thrown into the wall and severely injured if I had not already been lying right up against it.
[SEVERELY? MAYBE AND MAYBE NOT - JUST SPECULATION - Keith Hunt]
Immediately, I leaped out of the bunk, pulled on my clothes, and ran out into the corridor to see if there was anything I could do. The man in the next car had his nose smashed and blood was running down his face. People all around me were screaming and wailing. I found out later that six people were killed.
I jumped off the train and began to run through the darkness toward the front where the worst damage was. Rail cars were lying on their sides everywhere. I could hear people talking excitedly, but not understanding the language very well, I could only make out one word, "Sabotage! Sabotage!"
I heard someone in front of me bark a command, but not understanding, I kept moving forward, wanting to help people I could hear crying in the darkness. Several train cars were scattered around the track, mangled horribly, but my car was one of the few left standing on the track.
Suddenly, one of the men from the train spoke to me in English and asked if I understood English. When I answered yes, he said, "Don't move another step." Of course I asked why, and he said, "The guards have their guns trained on you and have ordered you to stop. They suspect sabotage in this wreck."
Again, I sensed the same presence that I had felt in my compartment immediately before the wreck. I sensed that an angel was with me. I quickly got back on the train, where I was ordered back to my sleeper car. We waited seventeen hours before another train came to clear the track.
I arrived in Vienna twenty-four hours later—late but unharmed thanks to the intervention of an angel of God.
[WAS IT REALLY AN INTERVENTION BY AN ANGEL, OR SOMETHING IN HIS MIND? WITH THOSE WHO WERE KILLED, WAS THERE “CHRISTIANS” AMONG THEM? WHO CAN TELL ALL THE DETAILS THAT ONLY GOD KNOWS…..WE LOOK THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY - Keith Hunt]
A Constant Companion
One of the leaders of the underground church in the former Soviet Union with whom I have worked for many years says that "his" angel always took care of him. He was in constant danger on many occasions because he ran the underground network and was instrumental in smuggling Bibles and overseeing most of our ministry's operations in Russia and other Soviet republics.
He will not talk much about the danger. In fact, he is very humble when it comes to talking about the sacrifices he has made consistently for many years for the sake of the gospel.
His daughter, who attended a university in the United States, told me that for years she lived in fear for his life. However, he had told her not to worry because he was aware of the constant presence of a guardian angel.
He knows that this angel protected him from police roadblocks and many other incursions by the secret police in his life.
[MAYBE SO, BUT MAYBE NOT SO; MAYBE TIME AND CHANCE WAS ON HIS SIDE FOR A VERY LONG TIME. THE FACTS ARE THAT FOR OTHERS IN THE SAME BOAT, THEIR TIME AND CHANCE WAS NOT LONG, MANY WERE FOUND OUT, IMPRISONED, AND SOME EVEN DIED FOR TRYING TO SPREAD THE BIBLE AND THE CHRISTIAN GOSPEL. BE VERY WISE IN WHAT YOU DO IN LIVING, DO NOT “TEMPT THE LORD” - Keith Hunt]
Rescued From the Chinese PSB
A man who assisted our ministry in China wrote to us about being stopped by Public Security Bureau (PSB) police as he attempted to pick up a large bag of Christian literature in another city. A few weeks before, five Chinese Christians had been arrested, abused, and beaten for conducting Christian fellowship activities. Our associate was understandably nervous on his next trip.
[YA WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU….. DO NOT TEMPT THE LORD, PROTECTION FOR THE GOSPEL IS NOT A PROMISED GIFT; REMEMBER WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL WENT THROUGH, SOMETIMES STONED AND LEFT FOR DEAD - Keith Hunt]
He was late in leaving for his own city with the literature. No public transportation was still running, so he hired a motorcycle and driver. As they traveled a dark road, floodlights suddenly surrounded them. They were confronted by about twenty PSB officers in uniform with weapons who began to inspect the motorcycle and asked the driver for his license. The driver did not have his license, and there were irregularities with the vehicle registration form. To make matters worse, our ministry associate did not have his passport with him. This was a sure recipe for instant arrest and perhaps worse.
[VERY FOOLISH WAY OF DOING THINGS, VERY UN-WISE - Keith Hunt]
However, just as they were being accused of stealing the motorcycle and before the bag of literature was opened, someone intervened. The officers were hitting and kicking the hired driver when an angel appeared to our associate.
The angel said, "Stand firm and witness the mighty power of God to deliver you through this!"
As the angel spoke, one of the officers walked up to our friend, unaware of the angel. The officer shoved his flashlight under our friend's nose and then began to shout to his companions, "No, no, you cannot do this! This man is my wife's uncle. He is a very respectable man. Besides, my wife would kill me if she learned of this!"
Then he very gently begged our friend's pardon for not immediately recognizing him. He told him to take his bag and go quickly, and our friend did just that!
My friend ended his story by writing:
As I passed through the cordon of the PSB, the beautiful angel tapped my shoulder, smiled and disappeared. Believe me, the next six or seven kilometers of dark road ahead of me I walked through in sheer joy, singing and praising the Lord. Indeed, He is our only Light amidst all the darkness!
[MAYBE IT WAS AN ANGEL, THEN MAYBE THE MIND REALIZING THE UN-WISENESS OF TRYING TO GET THE CHRISTIAN WORD OUT, AND BEING VERY VERY THANKFUL THE “TIME AND CHANCE” WAS THIS TIME IN THE POSITIVE. SOME CHRISTIANS WHO ARE SELF-RIGHTEOUS ABOUT “OH I’VE GOT ANGELS PROTECTING ME” CAN BE VERY UN-WISE IN TRYING TO SPREAD CHRISTIANITY IN HOSTILE NATIONS - Keith Hunt]
Missionary Protected During Prayer
The late Frank Laubach was a missionary in the Philippine Islands in 1929. One day he walked up to a hilltop on Mindanao, looking for a place to pray. He was unaware that he was being followed by a band of Moro headhunters.
They told him later, rather shamefacedly, that they would have killed him, but he was never alone. A big man walked beside Laubach, and the Moros were strangely afraid of him. Laubach's prayer vigil on that hilltop was extremely important, because there he made the commitment that resulted in his missionary and literacy work with impoverished people—"each one teach one"—that affected almost a million lives.4
[YES I CAN BELIVE IT WAS AN ANGEL AS HIS WORK WAS “LITERACY WORK” AND NOT JUST THE “CHRISTIAN GOSPEL” AS ALL PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC MINISTERS ARE PART OF “BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION” - THEY DO NOT TEACH THE WHOLE TRUTHS OF GOD - Keith Hunt]
Oral Roberts Tells of Assassins Stopped
A similar story of protection was told to me by Oral Roberts when I interviewed him in May 1994 on the subject of this book. He told me that he believes God dispatches angels on the "wings of the prayers" of God's people. He said that during the many years when he traveled with a big tent and held crusade meetings, he was aware of the presence of angels all the time.
"I am always praying, and I'm never without angels. I'm aware of their presence every day of my life," he said.
Roberts told me there have been at least a dozen attempts on his life over the years. He believes angels were constantly protecting him.
One major attempt occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June 1947, a month after Roberts began his healing ministry. He was holding a tent meeting with about one thousand people in attendance. A man stood on the sidewalk outside the tent at an opening where he could see Roberts, aimed a gun at him, and pulled the trigger.
The bullet flew over Roberts's head and punctured the tent above him. Roberts is convinced that angels deflected the bullet. The wire services picked up the story, and it became national news. When the man was arrested, he said he had no idea why he did it.
"Something came over me, and I felt I had to kill Oral Roberts," he said. (Evil angels can actually influence our thoughts, which I'll describe in more detail in chapter sixteen.)
However, what the devil meant for evil, God turned for good. Because newspapers coast to coast carried the story, the public— religious and nonreligious—knew for the first time that a major healing evangelist was working in America. That particular event launched Roberts's healing ministry.
Roberts also told me, "I think all of us have seen 'angels unawares.'" In other words, angels will appear in the form of human beings so that we don't know we are seeing them. This often occurred in Scripture.
[NOPE ROBERT’S DOES NOT HAVE RIGHTEOUS ANGELS AROUND HIM; THE FELLOW SHOOTING AT HIM WAS SIMPLY A BAD SHOOTER, ANYONE REALLY WANTING TO KILL ROBERTS WOULD USE A RIFLE WITH A SCOPE, AND WAIT FOR A CLEAR EASY OPPORTUNITY AS THEY DID WITH JFK IN 1963 [PRESIDENT OF THE USA]. PEOPLE SUCH AS ROBERTS THINK AND BELIEVE THEY ARE GOD’S SERVANTS - NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER; THEY ARE INSTRUMENTS OF SATANIC DECEPTION - Keith Hunt]
Angels in the Bible
[FINALLY WE ARE GETTING TO THE BIBLE, AND WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT ANGELS - Keith Hunt]
The fact that angels exist is as certain as the fact that God
exists. The Bible reveals the certainty of each. Though angelology
is not a cardinal doctrine, its acceptance opens the
mind to a better understanding of the Bible, God's plan of
the ages, the Christian life and ministry, as well as world
conditions and course of affairs.1
In biblical accounts an angel cooked meals for a prophet, and the Israelites ate angels' food. A donkey saw an angel, and a prophet acted like a donkey— and almost got killed by an angel.
Angels fought battles for men, and a man wrestled with an angel all night [ACTUALLY THAT “ANGEL” WAS NOT AN ANGEL AS WE THINK OF ANGELS, BUT WAS GOD HIMSELF - PROVED IN MY STUDIES ABOUT THE GODHEAD - Keith Hunt]
An angel saved one man from sacrificing his son of promise, and angels were present when that man's true Son of Promise was to be sacrificed.
An angel was involved in a jail break, and the man who escaped was mistaken for an angel.
Angels brought prophetic messages about the far future, yet angels do not know the day or the hour of the Lord's return.
Four categories seem to cover most of the ways angels, mankind, and God interacted in the Bible.
Angels ministered to people.
1. Angels brought messages to people from God.
2. Angels helped deliver individuals in danger and nations in trouble, sometimes fighting—and winning—battles.
3. Angels administered the judgments of God.
(In chapter thirteen we are going to look at assignments of angels in more detail.)
4. God can send angels either to show compassion and mercy or to execute wrath and judgment. However, the reason behind all of God's actions is to forward His plans and purposes in the earth.
The best way to know that angels will be dispatched if you should happen to need them is to cry out to God in prayer, to remain humble, and to make sure that you are fulfilling God's purpose for you. Bible teacher Norvel Hayes says the best way to "put angels to work [ministering] for you" is to obey God.2
[YES TO SERVE GOD IN KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH, BUT MOST CHRISTIANS AND MINISTERS OF CHRISTIANITY, DO NOT BELIEVE ANYMORE IN OBEYING THE 4TH COMMANDMENT OF THE GREAT TEN COMMANDMENTS. BUT AS THEY ARE IN THE MAIN DECEIVED, GOD CAN SEND ANGELS TO HELP THEM AT TIMES. BUT AGAIN THERE IS NO “ABSOLUTE” FOR “TIME AND CHANCE” ALSO PLAYS A PART IN HUMAN LIVES. PLUS GOD’S WILL SUCH AS WHEN JESUS PRAYED THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS DEATH, “LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME, BUT NOT MY WILL BE DONE, BUT YOUR WILL BE DONE FATHER.” AND PAUL PRAYED 3 TIMES TO HAVE THE THORN IN HIS FLESH REMOVED, BUT GOD SAID, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, HE WAS NOT HEALED FROM THAT INFLICTION - Keith Hunt]
Three sure ways to see an angel of light instead are [DEMONIC ANGELS - Keith Hunt]
1. To seek angels, not God.
2. To seek beyond what has been told us in the Bible (curiosity and speculation) as Swedenborg did.
3. To seek "another" way than what has been given in Scripture, as Muhammed and Joseph Smith did.
It's important to look at the angelic visits in Scripture to give us a standard to use to judge the angelic visits of today. Angelic visits always had a purpose, and they brought people closer to God and His plan for them.
Angels Who Ministered to People
Abram, patriarch of the Hebrews (whom God later renamed Abraham), had been promised a son of his own for many years. Yet Sarah, Abraham's wife, did not get pregnant.
Sarah decided to help God out by observing a custom of the time, which was to give a wife's maidservant to the husband to bear a child when the wife was unable to conceive.3 However, when Hagar the maidservant became pregnant, Sarah was not happy. She mistreated Hagar, who ran away, apparently very discouraged. An angel appeared to Hagar at a fountain and told her to return to Sarah and that a nation would be born of the son she was carrying (Gen. 16:9-11). The angel named that son Ishmael, who did go on to have many descendants now known as Arabs.
Ishmael was fifteen when the promised son, Isaac, was born. Once again Sarah persecuted Hagar, who fled into the wilderness, this time with her son. When their water was gone, they lay down under some bushes to die. An angel again appeared to her and showed them a well of water. They remained in the wilderness near Beersheba, living off the land (Gen. 21:14-21). Even though Ishmael was not the son God promised Abraham, God still provided for his needs through the ministry of angels.
When Abraham's son Isaac needed a wife, Abraham sent his servant to find the right girl, saying, "The Lord God of heaven... shall send his angel before thee" (Gen. 24:7). The servant received a supernatural sign that identified the girl (Gen. 24:10-67).
An angel actually built a fire and cooked bread for the prophet Elijah, who cried out to God for help as he fled from wicked Queen Jezebel. That food sustained him for forty days and nights (1 Kin. 19:5-8).
When Abraham's descendants came out of Egypt …. an angel led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land (Exod. 14:19; 23:20,23; 32:34; Num. 20:16). In the wilderness, angels' food, or manna (Ps. 78:25), was provided daily for the Israelites and ministered to their nutritional needs (Exod. 16:14-18).
God also said the angel would drive out the pagan tribes from the Promised Land ahead of Israel (Exod. 33:2). However, Israel disobeyed God by making treaties with the pagans and by not pulling down and destroying all of their idols. The angel was then not allowed to help (Judg. 2:1-4).
Angels Who Brought Messages
The first person who entertained angels "unawares" was Abraham (Heb. 13:2). Three strangers came to the door of his tent, and Abraham immediately asked them to sit down and visit for a while. Then he had Sarah and his servants prepared a meal out of their best provisions (Gen. 18:1-8).
Two of these "men" were angels and many believe the third was the Lord Himself. They delivered two important messages.
Abraham and Sarah would at long last have the promised son, "at the set time" (a year from then).
Judgment was to fall on the towns in the valley where Abraham's nephew Lot had chosen to live with his family.
Just before the cities were destroyed, two angels led Lot and his two daughters to safety (Gen. 19:15-22).
More than fifteen years later, at the direction of God, an angel brought a message to Abraham while he was preparing to offer up his only son as a sacrifice (Gen. 22:1-19).
Angels brought messages to Isaac's son Jacob three times. The first time, he saw angels climbing up and down a ladder into the heavens. At this place, called Bethel, the Lord confirmed that His promises to Abraham and Isaac would continue through Jacob (Gen. 28:10-15).
Later Jacob saw angels as he returned to his parents' home after twenty years of exile (Gen. 32:1-2), but at that point the visit is not explained. Years later, however, as he was dying, Jacob told his eleventh son Joseph that the "angel which redeemed me from all evil" would bless Joseph's sons (Gen. 48:16). (Was Jacob possibly referring to his guardian angel?) [PROBABLY GOD HIMSELF, A MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD, THAT BECAME JESUS THE CHRIST - Keith Hunt]
The night before Jacob was to be reunited with his brother, Esau, after twenty years, an angel wrestled with him all night long. Jacob refused to let him go until he received a blessing. In the morning, the angel touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh, causing him to limp for the rest of his life. An encounter with an angelic messenger from God will change you for a lifetime (Gen. 32:24-32).
[THIS WAS GOD - THE MEMBER OF THE GODHEAD WHO BECAME JESUS THE CHIRST - Keith Hunt]
More than four hundred years later an angel appeared to Moses as a flame of fire out of a bush. It was God who spoke to Moses out of the bush and called him to lead Israel out of Egypt (Exod. 3:1-4).
A prophet named Balaam got a message from an angel that almost cost him his life. Balaam was on his way to pronounce a curse over the nation of Israel when an angel got in his way. He did not see the angel, but the donkey he was riding did. The animal tried to avoid the angel three times and finally fell down. The Lord "opened" Balaam's eyes, and he saw the problem—an angel with a drawn sword waiting in ambush (Num. 22:1-35). After that, Balaam fell down!
Angels had something to do with giving Israel the law through Moses. This is recorded in the New Testament where Stephen said in his great speech before the high priest that Israel had "received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it" (Acts 7:53). Paul also said the law was "ordained by angels" (Gal. 3:19).
In the days when Israel had judges but not kings, an angel appeared to Gideon, a fearful man who was hiding from Israel's conquerors.
Much to Gideon's surprise, the angel told him, "The Lord is with thee," and he called Gideon "a mighty man of valour" (Judg. 6:12). Gideon informed this visitor that his family was poor, and he was "the least" of his family.
But God was calling things that were not as though they were, as He had with Abraham (Rom. 4:17). God spoke of Gideon's future potential as though it were already reality. We must learn to see ourselves as God sees us and speak of His plans for our future in faith.
Gideon finally believed the angel and led Israel to victory over Midian. He later served as one of fifteen men and women who judged Israel (Judg. 6-8). He became what the angel called him.
An angel also was involved in the life of another judge of Israel: Samson, a man known for his "might." This angel also appeared to be a man when he brought a message to Samson's mother that she was to have a child. However, she knew he was a "man of God" because his face "shone like the countenance of an angel." Later, he appeared to both prospective parents with instructions on how to bring up their baby to fulfill his part in God's plan (Judg. 13:2-14).
Angels delivered messages to Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and the apostle John concerning God's people and events of the End Times.
In the New Testament, a Christian evangelist named Philip was in the middle of a citywide revival in Samaria when an angel told him to leave and go south. As Philip obeyed, he met an Ethiopian official who had been seeking to understand the gospel (Acts 8). That one man's salvation meant the turning of an entire nation.
An angel appeared to a Gentile army officer named Cornelius and told him to send for Peter, who would give him instructions. This officer prayed to God always and gave much alms to God's people (Acts 10).
In both of these examples, non-Christians had been sincerely seeking the Lord, and He sent an angel to be a part of the answer to their prayers.
An angel brought a message to the apostle Paul just before the catastrophic shipwreck he and other Christians underwent en route to Paul's trial in Rome (Acts 27:23-24). The angel told Paul that if he and all on board followed orders, they would be saved, although the ship and its cargo would be lost. Events unfolded just as the angel had said (Acts 27).
Angels also heralded the births of Jesus and John the Baptist, as we'll see in the next chapter.
Angels Who Delivered People From Danger
During Israel's exile in Babylon, three young men who followed God were thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship the king. To the king's amazement, however, a fourth "person" appeared in the furnace with them. The youths and their "friend" were not touched by the flames, which were so intense that those who threw them in were burned to death. The fourth figure may have been an angel or Jesus Himself (Dan. 3:19-30).
Another youth taken into exile with the other three became a prophet and a great leader of the people. Daniel experienced angelic intervention in his life several times. The first time was when he was thrown into a den of lions for refusing to worship the king (the same "crime" that got his friends in trouble earlier). This was a different king but the outcome was the same: Daniel was untouched. He told the authorities that God had "sent his angel" and shut the lions' mouths (Dan. 6:22).
In the New Testament, the apostle Peter was delivered from prison by an angel. Peter was asleep when a light appeared and an angel "smote" Peter on the side and told him to get up, put on his cloak, and follow him. The chains immediately fell off his hands. At that time, "many were gathered together praying" in the home of John Mark's mother. Peter followed the angel, and when they reached the iron gate leading into the city, it opened by itself (Acts 12).
For years many people prayed together in the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc, and then the "iron gate" opened by itself. I wonder how many angels were involved in that?
Angels Who Administered Judgment
Almighty God also dispatches angels to carry out His judgments on nations and people whose "iniquity" is full (Gen. 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:7). God's mercy is forbearing and long-lasting. However, there comes a time when judgment can no longer be withheld, and God remains just.
Pharaoh ran head-on into God's judgment when he refused to let the Israelites go. The final and tenth plague was the angel of death passing over Egypt and killing all of the country's firstborn, both people and animals (Ps. 78:43-51).
One time an angel killed seventy thousand people because King David had counted the number of fighting men in Israel in disobedience to the Lord's command. It could have been worse, but God stopped the angel before Jerusalem was destroyed (2 Sam. 24:1-17).
As we saw in chapter four, sometimes innocent people suffer because those in authority disobeyed God.
Another Old Testament occasion when angels brought destruction—this time on Israel's enemies—during the time of Elisha.
At one point, Elisha and the residents of a town called Dothan were besieged by the Syrian army. Elisha may have had peace in the middle of the siege, but his servant was overcome by fear (2 Kings 6:17).
Elisha reassured him, "They that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:17). After Elisha prayed, his servant's eyes were opened to see horses and chariots of fire between them and the enemy.
I wonder how many Christians would see angels if their eyes were truly opened? There are more good angels with us than bad angels. At the very most, the Bible tells us, only a third of the angels followed Satan (Rev. 12:4).
The great Sennacherib, king of Assyria, got his comeuppance at the hands of an angel when he defied God by sending letters to other nations, boasting that God could not deliver Judah from his hand (2 Chron. 32:17). But God sent one angel who alone “cut off” (killed) 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp (2 Chron. 32:21).
The other side of the story is that when King Hezekiah of Judah received that threatening letter from the Assyrian king, he "went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it [the letter] before the Lord." Then he proceeded to really "lay hold" of God (Isa. 37:14-20). He told the Lord what the Assyrians were doing to His people and the land. After that, Hezekiah appealed to God's honor and good name not to let the Assyrian boasts prevail.
Hezekiah did not "pray the problem," nor did he identify the problem as his. The first words out of his mouth acknowledged that God is sovereign Commander and Ruler over all of the earth. According to Marilyn Hickey, Hezekiah "prayed the bigger picture."4 The angelic intervention came in response to that prayer.
In the New Testament, Herod was smitten with disease by an angel of the Lord because he accepted worship instead of giving glory to God (Acts 12:20-23). He was "eaten of worms" and died.
The last time angels are shown carrying out God's judgments is in the Book of Revelation, where angels are mentioned more often than in any other book of the Bible. There are angels of the seven churches in Asia, angels in heaven, angels controlling the elements, angels standing around the throne, angels blowing trumpets, angels showing visions to John, and angels overcoming the devil and his angels. Last of all, there are the angels who bring the plagues and disasters to earth, and there is the angel who binds Satan and later throws Death and Hades into the lake of fire.
So what standards does Scripture provide for judging angelic appearances? Here are some of the conclusions we can draw.
* Angels can come in answer to sincere prayers from believers and nonbelievers.
* Angels sometimes appear to be human at first, which is why we can be unaware of who they are.
* They often reveal their true identity before the visit is over.
Angels bring messages that further God's plans on earth
Angelic intervention always has a purpose. Angels don't come to build relationships with humans or just socialize.
God will withhold angelic assistance because of disobedience.
[MY OH MY THAT WOULD BE ABOUT 99.5 PERCENT OF ALL HUMANITY, FOR VERY FEW OBEY THE 4TH COMMANDMENT OF 7TH DAY SABBATH KEEPING. BUT FORTUNATELY IT IS GOD WHO LEAVES PEOPLE IN DECEPTION, HENCE HE CAN SEND ANGEL/S TO SERVE AND HELP WHOEVER HE LIKES - Keith Hunt]
Angels carry out God's judgments against wickedness.
In chapter twenty-one I will go into more detail about judging stories and experiences with angels.
…. We are going to take a look at what must have been one of the happiest times for angels since the creation of the earth: the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Surely they must have wondered at the Son of God becoming a baby in a manger and living on earth with men.
Angels and Jesus
The road was like any other road in Palestine. The snapping of grasshoppers in the olive groves was a steady rhythm in the heat.... A shepherd boy piped somewhere on the hill playing a maddening little tune without beginning or end. It was, as I have said, like any other road in Palestine. But one thing marked it out from all other roads in the world. It was the road to Bethlehem.1
—H. V. Morton
The road to Bethlehem. The road to Jerusalem. The road to Nazareth.
The names of these roads are evocative of something beyond natural reality to almost everyone who has lived during the past two thousand years. As few others in history can do, their very names cause thoughts of events and people larger than our own small worlds to pop instantly into our minds.
The Great Silk Road from Italy into Cathay (China) was once a road whose very name meant romance, adventure, and treasure— but not like these three roads in what once was Palestine. These three roads denote matters beyond romance. They denote life and death, matters of eternal importance, and events that turned the world upside down.
Daily traffic on the roads to those three places that collectively could have been called the "Golden Triangle" of Palestine, the Grand Central Station of the universe, or the crossroads of the spiritual world must have been closely observed by angels, at least from the time of Abraham.
Angels did not necessarily watch because they knew in advance everything that would take place on those roads. They watched because the Lord God Himself assigned "watchers" over the land so important to His plan (Eccles. 5:6; Dan. 4:13, 17, 23)…..
Fantastic thought, isn't it? We believe that we can take ourselves to a remote Pacific island or an isolated mountain retreat and get away from everybody and everything. However, we are still being watched by angels. We know this from many passages in the Bible.2
The road to Bethlehem is where the main event in God's plan for the redemption of mankind began.
The road to Nazareth is where the ministry of His Son unfolded the reality of that plan.
The road to Jerusalem is where it seemed to have ended—for three days—until the grave broke open and the plan of redemption was completed.
Angels were observing or actually involved in many of the events of those thirty-three years of Jesus' life, a short lifetime that did not end on Earth but extends throughout eternity. The true reality of space with no time is something we cannot understand, but it is the home of multitudes of angels.
The noted nineteenth-century astronomer, Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), upon finally catching a glimpse of the immensity of God's universe, said:
Then I understood that all the stars which have ever been observed in the sky... do not in the infinite represent more than a... city in a grand total of population. In this city of the limitless empire, our sun and its system represent one house—a single house among millions of habitations. Is our solar system a palace or a hovel in this great city? Probably a hovel. And the earth? The earth is a room in the solar mansion—a small dwelling, miserably small.3
Billy Graham pointed out that in Scripture when angels appear as angels, humans react in awe or even fear. He believes the reason is because angels represent the immensity of God and space. We are suddenly aware of how small we are compared to God and how small the earth is in relation to the universe.4
Somehow, our small "room in the solar mansion" has been of central importance to the universe. God has a purpose and a plan for mankind, but we are not pawns in a divine demonstration of good triumphing over evil. God created us to have a destiny in Himself.
Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, paved the way for us to live in His presence with the Father and all of the holy angels forever if we simply receive Him in our hearts and confess Him with our mouths (Rom. 10:9-10).
[BUT BELIEVING IN OUR HEARTS AUTOMATICALLY HAS THE OUTCOME OF LIVING, AS A WAY OF LIFE, ACCORDING TO THE WILL AND COMMANDMENTS OF GOD - Keith Hunt]
Angels and the Birth of Jesus
Confessing Jesus with their mouths was not just "a choice" to the angels who appeared that night to shepherds watching over the flocks of their masters. Perhaps it was an assignment, but most of all it was a joy, a triumph, a privilege, and a sign that marking time on Earth was over. Time still had millennia to go before it was no more. But the time of waiting for the Redeemer, the Messiah, to be born on Earth as a child ended that night.
That night the focus of all of those angelic watchers was on a specific place: Bethlehem. Luke's Gospel gives the clearest and most lyrical account of the events on that momentous evening (Luke 2:8-14).
Imagine several shepherds huddled around a small campfire in the middle of the fields. They are wearing coats made of camel's hair for warmth, and they are huddled in the lee of a hill to get out of the wind. The Holy Land gets chilly once the sun goes down.
Some of them talk softly while others are curled up in beds they made by piling rushes in the middle of oblongs outlined by stones. It is quiet except for an occasional tinkle of a bell around a lead sheep's neck or someone's cough or the sound of a stick crackling in the fire. It's hard to imagine how quiet the night must have been at that time and in that place—no cars, no planes, no boom boxes blaring the latest hits. When Luke wrote, "And, lo," he was saying, "suddenly, all at once, without any warning signal," an angel "came upon them." It must have been something like a jet breaking the sound barrier right above them.
Perhaps it was at the very moment of Jesus' birth that the skies split open in that quiet field and there was light, sound, and an unbelievable sight! The light was the glory of the Lord, the sound was celestial voices raised as one, and the sight was not just one angel but multitudes—perhaps millions! I believe all heaven was in a tumult of rejoicing and excitement at this fulfillment of God's purpose and plan.
No wonder Luke says the shepherds were "sore afraid." That means scared-out-of-your-wits afraid or perhaps the kind of fear that results from a sudden earthquake. One angel immediately reassured them by saying, "Don't be afraid. I have good news!"
The news brought by angels was the best news mankind could have had. The only news comparable…. will be when the sky splits open in a second, and Jesus appears for the final time. Angels will be involved in that as well, and we are told it will be just as sudden—"in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:52).
After the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds left their flocks and made their way into the village to find the baby who had been heralded by angels. Do you think they were so excited that they left the sheep unattended and ran off to Bethlehem? Perhaps they left one of their number to watch the sheep.
The shepherds may have been youths because younger sons usually were assigned the duty of tending the sheep. We do not know how old they were, exaclty how they were dressed, or how many there were. But we can be sure of one thing: For the rest of their lives, those shepherds never forgot the angels and the baby. They never had any question about the reality of angels and probably dated everything in their lives as "before we saw the angels" or "after we saw the angels." The Bible says they went back to their sheep glorifying and praising God for the things they had heard and seen (Luke 2:20).
The shepherds then took over from the angels in telling the good news, the message of hope. The Bible says that "they made known abroad the saying... and all they that heard it wondered at those things." In essence, they became the first evangelists (Luke 2:17-18).
Did you ever wonder why it was in God's plan for uneducated men of a lowly profession to see multitudes of the heavenly hosts? Why were shepherds chosen to be the first to hear that the King of kings and Lord of lords had been born?
Was it simply because God wanted the birth of Jesus announced to commoners first and then to kings in order to reach a broad spectrum of humanity?
Was it simply that the angels were so bursting with excitement they had to tell someone to "go and see" this wonderful thing that God had done?
Was it coincidence that Jesus, born of the lineage of David in the town of David, was first worshiped by shepherds? David, His ancestor, began as a shepherd and rose to become a king.
Many questions about angels have no answers in our realm, as with other mysteries of God. What we can understand is what is spelled out for us in Scripture:
* Angels were messengers at the birth of Jesus.
* Angels ministered to Jesus after a forty-day fast.
* Angels ministered to Jesus as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane the night He was arrested.
* Angels were there at the cross and at the grave when the stone was rolled away.
* Angels announced His resurrection and later spoke to the disciples after Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father and await the time of His return.
A Busy Time for Angels
The years of Jesus' life were a busy time for messenger angels. As the "fullness of time" drew near, the time when all things were in place and ready for the birth of Jesus, an angel was sent with a special message.
He appeared to the young girl whom God had selected as the mother of the promised Messiah. Not just any angel got this assignment, but a most important one—Gabriel. Gabriel appeared not only to Mary but also to Joseph. The man who would act as an earthly father to the Son of God needed to be told that it was all right to marry his fiancee, who was pregnant but not by him.
Even before that, Gabriel appeared to a priest officiating in the holy place. He brought this priest a message similar to that which Abraham received from God. The priest and his wife, both aged, were to have a son. This son was "Elijah," the forerunner of Jesus. Just as an angel had named Abraham's first son Ishmael, the angel named this baby John.
Marilyn Hickey calls such "birth announcements" a part of the ministry of angels.6 During this particular year, angels were busy bringing lots of birth announcements!
Zacharias was an ordinary priest taking his turn at executing the priest's office, but his family had been priests for generations, as was the custom. It might be understandable if uneducated shepherds had been skeptical of angels, but a priest should have known Gabriel had to be exactly who he said he was. A fallen angel, an "angel of light," would have been unable to manifest in the holy place before the veil.
You would think Zacharias would have been happy to experience a visit from an angel. However, Zacharias apparently walked by sight and not by faith. Unlike Abraham who "considered not" the condition of his and Sarah's flesh but believed God (Rom. 4:19), Zacharias was skeptical. He was not excited, honored, or happy. Instead, Luke writes he was "troubled" and "fear fell on him.” Instead of thanking the angel for this wonderful gift from God, he said, "Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years" (Luke 1:18). The angel replied, "I am Gabriel, that stands in the presence of God" (Luke 1:19).
The implication was, “You ought to know by seeing me here in this place that I come from the presence of God. How dare you question my word! You are doubting the Lord God Almighty, not me."
Zacharias "provoked" Gabriel, but he was only struck dumb until the baby was born. Remember Balaam? He was the prophet in the Old Testament who almost got himself killed by provoking an angel.
Can you imagine how angels must have walked through the streets of Jerusalem and watched from the heavenlies above Bethlehem, wondering how the people could be so oblivious to the great event about to burst upon them?
Did Mary and Joseph feel the presence of angels as they traveled the dusty road from Nazareth to Bethlehem when she was ready to give birth? I am sure angels hovered around them.
Did they hear the brush of angels' wings over the cave-stable— the only private place they could find? I can imagine angels surrounding the birth scene and the baby in the manger.
[ANGELS DO NOT HAVE WINGS…..OTHER SPIRIT CREATURES DO. WERE SOME OF THOSE CREATURES THERE., MAYBE, WE DO NOT KNOW IN ANY SPECIFIC WAY - Keith Hunt]
Angels must have been near Jesus throughout His life. However, the only other mentions we have of them before the resurrection is after He observed a forty-day fast (Matt. 4:1-11) and when He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane the night of His arrest (Luke 22:43).
The forty-day fast not only was spent without anything to eat, but it also was spent in the wilderness with wild beasts. Next a "beast" wilder than any on earth came and tempted Him. After He resisted Satan—who handled the temptation in person then left Him "for a season"—Jesus must have been totally exhausted and very weak.
Matthew and Mark mention the angels almost as an aside, as if to say, "So, of course, angels came and ministered to Him." (See Matthew 4:11; Mark 1:13.) The word minister in both references is the Greek word diakoneo, from which we get the word deacon. Strong's concordance says it means "to be an attendant" or "to wait on someone."7
We are not told this, but the angels may have fed Jesus just as the angel fed Elijah. If the angel did not feed Jesus, he strengthened and encouraged Him in some manner. We are told that He "returned in the power of the Spirit" to Galilee and began to minister so that His fame spread throughout the region (Luke 4:14).
Jesus spoke of angels often during His ministry. He also ran across plenty of Satan's minions, who will be discussed in a later chapter. The authors of The Foundations of Pentecostal Theology say:
Demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He dealt with them as those who were possessed by casting out the demons (Matt. 8:16; 9:32-33; Mark 5:2-13).
Jesus most certainly believed that He cast the demons out of those individuals. He pointed out that this fact of His ministry was part of the proof of His divine mission (Matt. 12:26-28) .8
Angels at His Death and Resurrection
At the close of Jesus' three years of ministry, as time drew near for the awesome, incomprehensible conclusion of God's plan for the redemption of mankind, angels again became active in the natural. As Jesus took the road to Jerusalem for the last time, can you see in your mind's eye the unseen legions of angels that must have hovered over Him? Perhaps they were strengthening Him for the coming ordeal.
As Jesus neared the city of Jerusalem to eat the Passover meal with His disciples, there was a "spontaneous" outburst of welcome from the throngs gathered from all over the known world for this high feast.
Is it possible that angels orchestrated this outpouring of love and welcome? (The crowd's welcome had been prophesied in Scripture.)
Were the angels shouting for joy again as Jesus was received this way? Or were they quiet, knowing what was ahead? During His arrest, Jesus remarked that, if He so prayed, His Father would give Him more than twelve legions of angels (about 72,000) for a rescue (Matt. 26:53).
As the time drew near for His trial and crucifixion, Jesus' heart was heavy and sorrowful. In Gethsemane, He left the disciples at one place and asked Peter, James, and John to pray at a place farther on. Jesus prayed alone some distance away. Instead of praying, however, Peter, James, and John did what many of us do—they fell asleep. While Jesus was waking the disciples for the second time, soldiers came to arrest Him (Matt. 26:45-46).
By being asleep, the disciples missed the opportunity to pray with Jesus, which probably caused them remorse in times to come, and they missed the visit of an angel. Luke wrote that an angel appeared to Jesus from heaven as He prayed, strengthening Him (Luke 22:43).
On the third day after the crucifixion, women came to Jesus' tomb with spices and ointments. They wondered who they could get to roll away the stone from in front of the grave, which had been carved out of the rock of a small hill. Estimates are that this "tombstone" may have weighed as much as four thousand pounds.
When they reached the grave, however, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus' body was gone! The women were quite puzzled and, I am sure, wondered if the high priest or perhaps Pilate had ordered His body taken elsewhere for some wicked reason.
Suddenly, two "men" stood before the frightened women,9 and again, the first thing the angels said was, "Don't be afraid" (Matt. 28:1-7; Mark 16:2-7; Luke 24:1-8).
The angels asked, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?... Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee" (Luke 24:5-6).
At that point, Luke writes, the women "remembered his words." They had forgotten what Jesus had told them would happen.
I wonder if angels can understand how people can forget the words of Jesus, or just not believe them. Angels must shake their heads many times, thinking, How can people do this? How can they not know that God is real, Jesus is real, and angels are real?
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and other followers and spent a period of about forty days with them before He ascended into heaven. On His final day with the disciples, Jesus led them out as far as Bethany. Apparently they had no warning this was the last time they would see Him on earth. After He had talked with them a while, He was taken up into the heavens where a cloud hid Him.
At this point, we have the last message delivered by angels during Jesus' time on earth. Two "men" suddenly appeared and asked a question, as if wondering why Jesus' closest followers did not understand what was going on (Acts 1:9-l 1).
However, they added words of assurance that caused them to hope—words that have brought hope to His disciples throughout the ages, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
As Christians, we believe Jesus will be returning for us again in the same way that He left. What will the angels do to announce His Second Coming?
Dick Mills wrote:
It is my firm conviction that before the second coming of our Lord, there will be as much angel activity as there was during His first coming.10
That is all the more reason for us to understand what angels are.
How are they different from human beings?
How are they similar?
How do they fit into God's purposes for the earth?
TO BE CONTINUED
A GOOD OVERVIEW OF THE WORK OF ANGELS AS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE - Keith Hunt