GOD STILL EMPLOYS ANGELS, 21.12.18

Scriptures:

Gen.16:7-11

Dan.3:20-23,25,28

2 Kings 19:35

2 Chron.32:20,21

Acts 5:19,20

Acts 12:23

Rev.5:2

Rev.8:5-7

John 14:17

From earliest times, God has employed angels as agents of protection, doing battle for God’s people, messengers who intervene, bring comfort, guidance, prophetic words and warnings of imminent danger. They also may be sent by God to bring His justice upon the earth. There are those who believe that angels only appeared in Biblical times; however, one need not look very far to discover many reports of angelic presences in modern/present times.

From the time of Abraham to the time of Daniel, to the the New Testament times, the accounts of angelic beings sent by God to either comfort, warn, guide, or simply manifest God’s presence, are far from uncommon. On some occasions they appeared as humans, and spoke freely; on other occasions, they simply appeared, but did not speak; at still others, they performed a task, or intervention of some type, but were not visible nor spoke. We will review selective examples.

When Sarah’s maid, Hagar, was banished from the house of Abraham, “the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness. . . . .  said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”. . . will multiply your descendant exceedingly. . . ..And the Angel of the Lord said to her: you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has heard your affliction” (Gen.16:7-11). Notice that the angel spoke, and performed several functions: (a) to bring a message of comfort and hope; (b) to give specific instructions; and (c) to bring a promise from God.

When Daniel and these men were bound . . . . .cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. . . . the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace” (Dan.3:20-23), but when King Nebuchadnezzar checked on them, he discovered “four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God”(Dan.3:25). Nebuchadnezzar affirmed that “the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him” (Dan.3:28). The angel did not speak, but performed a most important function/service. These men were supernaturally protected from the effects of the fiery furnace, and it was evidently the presence of the angel that delivered this supernatural occurrence.

In 2 Kings 19:35, the angel kills 185,000 men of Sennacherib’s Assyrian army, thereby saving Hezekiah’s Jerusalem. “Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven. Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valour, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria.(2 Chron.32:20,21). Notice that God dispatched the angel in response to the prayers of Hezekiah and Isaiah.

The angel who visited Mary (Lk.1) to prepare her for her special role spoke to her several times; this was a very special announcement and unique situation. So also did angels appear and speak to Joseph (Matt.1) and to the shepherds: “So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger” (Lk.2:15,16). They were bringing good news in this case.

In Acts 5 when the apostles were imprisoned, “an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life”(Acts 5:19,20). One can see the two-fold purpose here: (a) Rescue (b) instructions (c) to encourage/give courage to continue the evangelistic mission they were on. When King Herod elevated himself, allowing himself to be treated as a god, “an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died”(Acts 12:23). These examples provide confirmation that God can send His angels to perform whatever duties He chooses, including the touch of death; there is no limitation to what they may be assigned to do by Almighty God.

Throughout the book of Revelation, John received revelations involving the dispatching of angels to coordinate events and to bring God’s justice upon the earth: “Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” (Rev.5:2). “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake” (Rev.8:5). Notice that the role of the angel was not only to perform a tangible active task, but in doing so, powerful effects were released. This is followed by another series of actions that would release God’s judgment: “the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up” (Rev.8:6,7). God does assign His special forces of angels to bring judgment on the earth, and will do so, especially at the end of the age.

There are infinite varieties of ways that angels continue to manifest in today’s world. Although there will always be skeptics who debate and question the credibility of sources, and whether such things are possible, there are volumes of reports of visitations and interventions by angels. One only need employ the Word of God as a standard, and seeking supernatural wisdom and discernment, filter out any false reports, and identify those of truth. There will always be false reports, just as there are false prophets. If the source, the circumstance, and the mode are congruent with God’s Word, those of us who walk in faith with the Lord will likely receive that inner knowing. There should be no difficulty believing in anything supernatural, since we ourselves are indwelt by the most powerful supernatural force available, the Holy Spirit, Himself a component of God. As for unbelievers, it should not be strange that they do not believe; it is actually more curious when they do believe.

April 27th 2011, delivery man, Jimmy Jones, (“A Strange Encounter, A Real Life Angelic Visitation”. http://www1.cbn.com/700club/strange-encounter-real-life-angelic-visitation ) experienced a supernatural intervention by an angelic being which probably made the difference to his surviving the tornado. The angel did not speak, appeared in the form of a man, but then mysteriously disappeared. His presence had a calming effect, and took Jimmy Jones successfully through the storm. Reports of near death experiences usually involve angels. Angels have appeared on accident scenes as well as those of natural disasters, and performed rescue work.

At one of Jason Upton’s worship services a number of years ago, (https://youtu.be/zo6Nu5W256M ), an angel was reportedly seen by a 14-year-old boy. A member of Jason Upton’s band recounts this angelic manifestation, and the angel’s voice can be heard singing back-up on the taped session (ref. https://youtu.be/zHRWo-TrjXQ ). This encounter served to verify God’s presence and blessing upon the worship. Several individuals I know have seen angels; angels have been seen as present at various times during Bible Study/Prayer times at my residence. Although I personally have never seen an angel, I have experienced supernatural interventions that would be attributable to angelic powers on more than one occasion. It is an incredible experience, for sure.

Believing these reports requires faith, based on an intimate and supernatural connection with the Father, of course. One does not expect an unbeliever to believe any of these accounts, including the ones in Scripture. It is irrelevant whether an unbeliever believes in the supernatural, for just as Jesus/Yeshua said, because they do not have the Holy Spirit, “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him”(John 14:17); therefore, spiritual things of God are incomprehensible to most unbelievers. But for believers, these experiences, accounts, and manifestations are very comforting, reassuring, encouraging, edifying, and purposeful. We should embrace, and rejoice in them.

©  2015, revised 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.

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